We continue to look at love this morning. According to verse 5 of 1 Corinthians 13 love does not “seek its own.” I pondered this phrase and considered its meaning. The best I came up with was this. Love does not have a “my way or the highway attitude.” It doesn’t have to get its own way in everything. Let’s think about that.
In a marriage you at times see this play out in the evening meal. He comes home from a hard day’s work to find dinner not yet ready. Then she sits dinner before him, but says she is sorry that the steak has no A1, but the store was out of it. He really likes A1 on his medium rare steak. What does he do? How does he react? It will depend upon his love for her.
This man in my example can get upset, thinking in his mind that he deserves to have what he wants. Why she didn’t even have it ready when he came in and she knows what time he will show up. It is her job to prepare meals for him and she knows better than this. So the man responds coldly, perhaps not speaking, perhaps throwing it in the trash, perhaps even taking himself out to dinner without her. That man does not love his wife. Instead he is selfish. Love is not selfish.
A loving husband would thank her for a nice dinner. He would eat it and even enjoy it because his treasured loved one had prepared it for him. If the steak was burnt or raw or somehow no good he would see the pain in her eyes, wrap his arms around her and say, “you know babe I haven’t taken you out to Outback in a while. Want to go?” You see he cares more about her and her feelings than he does about getting his own way. He loves her and he doesn’t want to hurt her.
Where we so often see this violated in the Christian walk is when we deal with wayward family members. Your daughter comes home and says those dreaded words, “dad I’m pregnant.” Immediately anger rises up. Your picture of a pure and beautiful girl gets kicked in the gut. Some fathers even then tell her to get out. She has made the family look bad in the eyes of others. But if you truly love your daughter you will restrain yourself. She, as a pregnant teen, is in for a really hard road ahead. As her father she is going to need you, your support, your strength, your love. To disown her at such a time only reveals something about you that does not reflect Christ’s love. And that grandchild she carries will need you as well. Can you love both of them and not demand she leave, get an abortion, put the child up for adoption or some other way out?
Now I have heard before that helping this daughter somehow condones her bad behavior. Well now, can rejecting her actually take away what has happened? Likely the duties that come with motherhood will teach that lesson, but a teen is not fully prepared for that. Like it or not she needs you. Love says, “we can get through this.” Family takes care of family. Just because both you and she know sex before marriage is a violation of God’s law does not give you the right to ignore her needs. You are her father and a real father comes to the aid of his child. He may not do all that the child wants, but he will do what is in the best interest of that child. Love wants what is best for the one loved.
When I think about how love is not selfish I think of my Tennessee church friends and a dear lady named Kacey. Sorry but I believed I spelled her name wrong. So many times back then I needed a rescuer, someone to take me to the hospital, someone to drive me to a church function, someone to talk to and more. One night in particular comes to mind and I will share that testimony here.
Out walking with a friend I was involved in an accident. Hit by someone on a bike I fell on the road landing on my left wrist. A teenage boy we knew saw what happened and came to help me up. I felt dazed and kind of strange in the head. The boy half carried half guided me home. At home I called her saying I needed help. Right away she drove over and picked me and my kids up. Shock was setting in and I struggled to think through what I needed to do. She told my son to take me into the ER. Not sure I could handle things I looked at her, pointed to the back where my daughter was and then looked back at her. She then told my daughter to stay with her while my son took me into the hospital. I had to have immediate treatment. I didn’t need to focus on the kids at a time when the doctor said I was in shock. My husband was called and things got taken care of. She didn’t demand money for watching Amber, didn’t get mad because I called her and not someone else. No she put aside what she was doing to rescue her friend. I will never forget that night.