I have search and read many definitions of LOVE but the Bible to me has the best description of what love looks like.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
“Love never dies”
In verse 4 another translations goes like this, “love suffer long and is kind…”
What does it mean when it says, “suffers long”? Love involves sacrifice. We can sacrifice and not love, but we cannot love and not sacrifice. Anyone can give something that is expensive but it’s a whole other thing to give away something that is valuable. It takes sacrifice to give something away that is valuable.
It feels like is cost much more when we don’t “feel” like doing or giving it. Love is this way, many times we do not “feel” like doing or giving it and we value our “feelings” and “wants” so much, it takes sacrifice to give them up in order to love someone else. I believe learning to love is the truest and foundational calling on our all of our lives.
In todays culture love & lust, & Joy & pleasure are being confused and mixed up. When pleasure becomes the goal in life and relationships things get weird. God likes pleasure and made it for us but when it becomes a focus in our life our relationships it will begin to rob us of Joy & Love.
Love is not love until it cost you something to give it away. Love suffers long and if you do not ever want to get hurt or feel pain in your life, you will never have the truest and most powerful form of love. You can have pain & not have love but you cannot have love without pain. The door that opens to love creates the opportunity for pain.
Fellowship of suffering is attaching ourselves to those who are suffering and struggling in the midst of helping them out. When you love someone you will end up loving those who are suffering therefore you will suffer when loving.
Rom. 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Phil. 3:7-10 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death
2Tim. 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
When you love someone who is suffering your soul will begin to suffer with him or her because of the love that ties your souls together. This doesn’t mean to invite people in your life to punish you or to torment you in the name of suffering long. Suffering for Christ does not mean having a martyr spirit & not being able to enjoy like, have money, have pleasure etc… Suffering long is LOVING LONG.