A friend on Facebook posted this page earlier today. In general, I like it. I think it is useful, not only for reflecting on potential life long partners, but it can be applied to ourselves as well. I think that Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, does a first rate job of describing love.
The interesting thing is that this practice - inserting the name of a potential life partner into the text - was a maneuver that significantly destabilized my faith. Like the author of the shared page, I tried inserting my God in place of the word Love in 1 Corinthians 13:
- God is patient
- God is kind
- God does not envy
- God does not boast
- God is not proud
- God is not rude
- God is not self-seeking
- God is not easily angered
- God keeps no record of wrongs
- God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
- God always protects
- God always trusts
- God always hopes
- God always perseveres
- God never fails
For a while, I clung to a God that met the love standard. So what if the god of my sacred text didn't measure up. I could ignore the text, ignore the proclamations of other believers, ignore my own doubts. I was like Hawkeye in MASH, desperately pounding on the chest of a dead man, clinging to the hope that my desperation could revive this patient. I pounded on that chest for a few years.
In the end, I realized that 1 Corinthians 13 is a good list. Paul had a moment of enlightenment and tapped into something exceptional.
Love is all of those things and is a worthy pursuit for its own sake.