Love endures through every circumstance (1 Cor 13:7). Love reaps, not only because it sows, but also because it faints not. Love sows even in tears, love presses on from seed time to harvest, even if a period of apparent death precedes the first sight of a crop. “Like Christ on the cross, love endures scorn, failure, ingratitude…. At the end shines out the light of Easter. But love never ends.”1Gaston Deluz, A Companion to 1 Corinthians (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1963), 193. Love has staying power. It endures to the end (Matt 10:22), whether it faces the lack of a blessing sought or outright persecution. So “love will last forever!” (1 Cor 13:8).
Think of Jacob, who served seven years to earn Rachel’s hand in marriage: “his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days” (Gen 29:20). In this day of disposable marriages, where people sigh in resignation, “We just don’t love each other anymore,” the staying power of love has been discounted. But perhaps people who talk that way never loved. Perhaps they’re only talking about infatuation, which fades because it makes no demands on commitment and self-sacrifice. Perhaps—by the definition that this very list provides—they were always clueless about love. I wonder, could the spiritual gift of love heal marriages?