[love …] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7
Love endures. Much has been said about love conquering all and love lasting and all that nonsense. I call it nonsense because the love which is discussed is not the Love of 1 Corinthians 13. The Love that has been described in these verses is not the love about which the world commonly speaks. And the proof of this is in the last trait of Love mentioned: Love … endures all things.
This word endure comes from two Greek roots, one meaning under, by, (ὑπό) and the other meaning stay, remain, wait (μένω). The idea is more than just enduring as we understand it in modern English. The concept communicated is close to what is spoken in the marriage vows — for better or for worse; in sickness and in health. What I come away from the root words with is an image of Love doing more than just enduring. I come away with a picture of Love staying by the beloved without condition — after all, Love endures all things — and of Love waiting for the beloved in rain or snow or whatever condition — Love endures all things — and of Love staying under the weight of whatever circumstance He may encounter with His beloved. Because Love endures all things.
I know that I fall woefully short in this. Certainly, I have not left my wife or abandoned my children or friends or family. But that is only in the strictest sense of the words. Have I left my wife to fend for herself when she has faced difficulties? If yes — and I fear that honesty dictates that I admit to having done so — then I have fallen short with regard to enduring all things. If my friends and family have failed to find a willing ear and a ready prayer in me, then I fallen short. If my children have been without their father in any sense, then I have fallen short. I may adhere to the letter of this, but what of its spirit?
Father, I admit that I have failed to meet the spirit of this. I have not endured as You would have me endure. Please strengthen me to do so and refine me until I am unalloyed and tempered to endure.