“I, Sheryl, take you, Bert, to be my husband. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or . . .”
Standing there before God and man, I grasped my soon-to-be-husband’s hands tightly. “I need to confess something, Bert. I haven’t quite mastered 1 Corinthians 13:5 yet. So, maybe I’d be more honest if I said my vows this way: ‘I, Sheryl, take you, Bert, to be my husband if you don’t insult me, hurt my feelings, or do anything to upset me from this day forward, until death do us part.’”
Even though these words would have more honestly described the woman Bert was about to spend the rest of his life with, I didn’t actually reword my wedding vows almost 13 years ago. I have no doubt, however, he would’ve appreciated the heads-up.
This week we’re focusing on the third challenge in 1 Corinthians 13:5: “[Love] is not irritable” (ESV). The Amplified Bible makes sure we get the point. “It is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered].”
What?! Irritable?! Overly sensitive?! Easily Angered?! Me?! When do I ever act like that?!
I hate making people feel as if they’re walking on eggshells, don’t you? When we’re so thin-skinned that we overreact and retaliate in ways we regret.
I struggle with overreacting – which is why Bert’s glad I’m spending time on this verse. Would the people in your life also benefit if you meditated on and applied 1 Corinthians 13:5? Let’s ask God to remind (and enable) us to practice forgiveness and mercy by not taking everything so personally, especially when (but not only when) someone’s comment or act wasn’t meant to be hurtful.
We can pray this with confidence because God knows us well. He knows where we’re the most sensitive. In fact, when I’m experiencing my worst days, the more I meditate on Scripture and focus on God (all He is to me – and I to Him) I experience more satisfaction, peace and joy then
I do frustration, anger and hurt. I’m calmer. Less defensive.
When we trust God’s love for us, we become better at loving others. And the better we become at loving others, the less we’ll have to wonder if we should’ve given our spouse a heads-up before he or she said, “I do.”
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. You can reach her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.