Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

As Ryan continues to talk on relationships at Awakening, I find myself drawn to the beautiful picture God paints of love in the Bible. He has given us a divine blueprint of what true love really looks like and how we should go about loving those around us. Yet I cannot help but be challenged as well in the ways that I fall short in loving those closest to me.

I look at the above passage and it reminds me of how selfishly I can love at times. Whether I am being impatient, rude, jealous or proud, I catch myself putting my wants and needs above others. It is so easy some times to feel unloved or mistreated and not look at myself in a critical way. Although I am not expected to be perfect, I desire to be aware of my shortcomings and encouraged by the people around me to love more deeply. As I prepare to get married next year, I pray that God will help me love selflessly and become the servant leader he desires me to be, putting Him first every step of the way.

Men currently in relationships, I challenge you to critically look at how you love and what things you can do to improve. Are you honoring her visually, verbally, physically, emotionally, practically and spiritually? Remember that if you are honoring her spiritually and coming together to meet with God, all of those other aspects will naturally fall into place.

For you single men, looking for the perfect girl or not, remember that there really is no one person that is perfect for you in every way. Rather, you should become a man that puts God first and honors women in radical ways, separating yourself from the terrible stereotype men have in culture today. Look to Jesus as your perfect example of love, and surround yourself with other men who can encourage and challenge you in your relationships.

Author: Chris Waltner

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