Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. – 1 Corinthians 13:5b-8a NRSV
Love insists that every way be loving. A person acting with love – living love’s way – will not insist on his or her own way. Usually. Particularly when the other options available are expressions of love. But sometimes love means speaking up or speaking out or speaking against a way that is not loving.
Love does not believe all things. Especially if we are talking about believing everything you hear or everything you read. Real love believes the best about another, looks for the good, seeks out the inspiring. True love harbors doubts about second-hand stories and rumors that in any way disparage another; love grieves when such stories and rumors are accurate.
Even if we are talking about believing as giving our heart to and orienting our lives toward, then love still does not believe all things. Love believes – sets its heart on and orients its life toward – all things life giving.
When one is treated without love in the name of love – say, being beaten or belittled or isolated or controlled – love does not bear it or endure it or simply hope for better. Love leaves.
When you share life – in all its glorious messiness – with one who truly supports you and wants only the best for you, who would do anything to see you smile or hear you laugh, who can sit in the silence with you when there are no words and share your tears in the midst of the heart-wrenching, then love does indeed bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things. Whether parent or partner or friend, that kind of love that never ends.
May you love and be loved in all ways life giving.