Posted by: Joe Palmer | July 27, 2009

Love Grows Up

Love Grows Up

By Joe Palmer

Do you remember the first time you were in love, or thought you were in love? My first love was in the second grade: Jan Cockrum. She had long blonde hair and a beautiful smile. On Valentine’s Day I took her a box of candy and presented it to her at school. To me that was love.

As I grew, there were other feelings I had that I thought were love: the first kiss, the first date, the first steady relationship. For most of us, we finally meet someone who we decide we love enough to promise them the rest of our life. We come to the altar on the wedding day, both dressed in our best, surrounded by our friends, and promise to “LOVE.”

In our mind that day our love is at its peak. But, love isn’t when tall, dark, and handsome, takes slim, trim, and beautiful in his arms and plants that first passionate kiss upon her lips. Love, is when fat, bald and ugly, looks across the breakfast table at old soggy, and wrinkled, and they both know in their heart that life wouldn’t be the same without the other.

Now if you are married and are close to, or past, that silver anniversary mark, you know that love matures. What you thought was love when you married, no more resembles what you know to be love now than my second grade, one day love, compares to my wedding day.

Love matures. Paul said, “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” I Cor 13:10 The word perfect here means mature. Love is the most mature of all Christian virtues, or gifts. It will outlast the spiritual gifts of prophecies, tongues, and knowledge. It is greater than faith, and hope.

Love needs to mature. As we have studied it has to get past the “Me” or “We” phase and start thinking of “You.” Paul said, mature love protects others, believes in people, hopes and sees the best, and it keeps on going when everything and everyone else stops going.
Paul tells us what mature love looks like. He said, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” I Cor. 13:10- 12

When I was first in love, I thought sometimes immaturely. “What does this person have to offer me?” “Am I attracted to them?” How do they make me feel?” If I have a mature love I think, “How can I show my love?” “How blessed I am to receive their love.” “What can I do to give something back?” I have put away the shallow love in order to drink deeply from the cup of love that Christ has shown us.

Immature love is a dim reflection of the real love. In my immature love, I hid my defects. I was afraid they would disqualify me to receive love from others. It is only when I am loved with my faults, and loving others with their faults, that love is truly perfected. To know and be known is love.

Love takes the good with the bad and sees the good.

Loves sees my strengths and weakness but still believes in me.

Love knows the odds and the obstacles but still hopes.

Love doesn’t count the failures but successes. Love never gives up.

Joe Palmer


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