It is difficult to know real love. It seemed forever before I really fell in love. I often ‘fell in like’ until real love came.
In retrospect, thinking about real love didn’t match with my girlish dreams of passion or being swept off my feet. I was his kindness and gentleness I knew real love at last.
My true love died in 2018, after we celebrated sixty-six years together. I thought of words that described the love we shared. Assurance, Acceptance, Belonging, Relationship, His Presence, Steadfastness, Forgiveness and Looking to the Future.
One time we had a disagreement, and I questioned my understanding of love. Things were not going smoothly, and surely it wasn’t my fault.
I took my Bible and went to the basement and read I Corinthians 13:4-8, over and over. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong-doing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Suddenly, I realized it wasn’t my husband who didn’t know how to love, it was me. It took time, but soon we enjoyed our remaining years.
As I continued to grow as a wife and mother, I found other scriptures that changed my life.
Now I find His joy in praising Him and learning how God loves us through so many ways. Just the joy of finding a bud on a flower, or a new bloom on my tomato plant gives me joy. I watch birds pirouetting through the air. Children racing on their scooters. Praying for workers high on the buildings as they work, their mothers may not know.
Recalling memories of love past, and how the Lord taught me through their lives. Forty years ago, six months after my Dad died, Mother spent hours handwriting memories I had forgotten in a book. Suddenly it appeared on my 90th birthday, and what a blessing!
Her sacrifice of time and love is just in time. Now I have time to ponder and wonder at the greatness of God’s Love.
Then I read the listing of the Fruit of the Spirit…followed by these words – If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:25-26.
Love – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34.
Joy – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Peace – “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
Patience – Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. James 5:7.
Kindness – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.
Goodness – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.
Faithfulness – The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23.
Gentleness – Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 1 Timothy:6:11.
Self-Control – For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:6-7.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24.
This Fruit of the Spirit is what it takes to truly fall in love.