Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Love Talks #2: True Love Waits . . . While it Waits

Warning: This is tough. It’s a feat that not many people can accomplish. I’m still learning it; in fact, I just messed up royally right before sitting down to write this.  Proceed with caution.

Most Christians have heard the slogan “True love waits.” But did you know that’s only half of what love is?

See, I have this theory that you can be sexually pure, save yourself completely for marriage, and still not understand love. Actually, this idea isn’t mine—it’s God’s. As my friend and fellow blogger, James Lex pointed out in a short sermon he preached last year, Paul’s definition of love in First Corinthians 13 lists many things love is NOT, but it only lists two things that love IS.

Many of us have heard the “patient” part preached over and over.” Save sex till marriage.” “You just gotta wait.” “Someday, my prince will come.” And the list goes on.

I absolutely agree with all of this. Love IS patient, and therefore it must wait. But there’s a second half to the equation. Without it, all your patient waiting ends up being just that—patient waiting. It’s not love.  You need both parts to equal the end result. And the second part of love is kindness.

When I think of kindness, the first thing that pops into my mind is cute little smiley faces and warm fuzzies. But somehow, I think there’s more to it than that.

I believe the real definition of kindness is learning to “wait on”—meaning to “serve”—those around us.  If you’re single and in that “waiting” stage, one of the best things you can do for your future spouse is learn now to serve your friends and family in love. 

Remember how I said I messed up tonight?

Well, after I had just gotten home from work and was settling down to write this, I was asked to do a chore that I did not expect or want to do. I already had a full schedule and felt that this extra task was an imposition on MY time. Long story short, I only half did it, and with less than half my heart in it. I was focused on what I wanted, not on helping my family.

And that’s a perfect example of what love simply is not.

Now here’s what love IS.

In John chapter 13, Jesus shows his disciples “the full extent of his love.” He didn’t do it by giving them a warm hug, complementing them on being such awesome friends, or even by giving them a lavish gift. No, Jesus showed them his love by serving them. Not only that, but he washed their dirty, smelly, nasty feet that had walked through dirt and dust for miles that day. It was a job so humbling that only the lowest of the low servant would be made to do it.  But Jesus did it for his disciples.  He did it for all of us. 

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13

Jesus laid down his life, both literally, and figuratively. While he lived, he lived to serve. When he died, he died to save. 

For us, the test is often not, “Will you die to save others” but “Will you live to serve others?”  I missed my chance tonight. But I’m determined, by God’s grace, to make it up to my family—especially my parents, who have done so much to serve me in love.

It’s hard to learn to love through “waiting on” others (especially my family!), but I’m willing to do my best, because I know it will be worth it. How about you?

Read Love Talks #1: I Kissed Dating Goodbye . . . For Now!


  1. That post was certainly worth writing and reading.

  2. This is really cool! I never thought of 'waiting' that way, but I completely agree with you, and it's something I've been trying to practice for that last couple years. Also, just so you know, your last 'Love Talks' post kind of changed my life. It pretty much started a process which culminated in me finally surrendering my love life to God. And for someone who spent the last 12 years of my life with the view that I had to find a girlfriend and then everything would be perfect, it was a pretty big deal. Thank you so much for your openness and wisdom :)

  3. I see that I missed this post. Being a servant is never popular to us. Our society makes us believe that we are better off having servants than being one. It isn't enough to just be a servant either. Our attitude must follow with a desire to serve. True in all relationships.