Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
What if the love passage in 1 Corinthians 13 was more than just an inspirational quote to be read at weddings? What if it is a blueprint on how to build a thriving and successful marriage? That’s the whole premise of the Love 31 Challenge. We’re creating this Challenge because we need it. After being successfully and happily married for over 16 years, you would have thought that my wife and I would have figured out a way to put our marriage in neutral and coast for awhile. But after 16 happy years, two of the biggest things we’ve learned so far in marriage are:
1. You can’t stay happily married without Jesus. Marriage is God’s design, and it’s only designed to work if God is right in the middle of it. Only the Spirit of God inside of us (because of our faith in Jesus) can transform us into the husband and wife we need to be. For you not just to stay married but to have a vibrant, thriving, life-giving marriage, Jesus has to be right in the middle of it.
2. Your marriage is too important to ever stop working on. Marriage would be so much simpler if the movies were true, if every couple had exotic locations to live in, professional hair and makeup artists at your beck and call, professional script writers to help you say the most romantic lines with as many takes as you needed to get it right. Marriage would be perfect if you could ride off into the sunset together and the credits started to roll before the first fight happened.
True love in marriage isn’t effortless. True love requires hard work and sacrifice. All this comes from 1 Corinthians 13 and the most famous Scripture passage on love. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Paul lists fifteen verbs or love-actions as a way to flesh out and define true love. It’s those fifteen verbs, those fifteen love-actions, that will be the driving force behind the Love 31 Challenge. What could happen in your marriage over 31 days if you put God’s Word into action and began to show love to your spouse the way Scripture teaches? There’s only one way to find out!