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Valentine’s Day: Interpreting 1 Corinthians 13

Valentine's Day
Written by Patti Greene

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with February 14th. It’s the date that most people associate with LOVE, HEARTS, CANDY, and FLOWERS!

We know it’s close to Valentine’s Day because we see the gifts in the stores dressed up on lovely lace displays. We know it’s close to Valentine’s Day because Hallmark and other stores are stocked with lovely red cards abounding with hearts and kisses. We know it’s close to Valentine’s Day because our online pop-ups tell us with advertisements to purchase that special gift for that special person. And we know it’s close to Valentine’s Day because there is a reminder on our print and online calendars that it’s VALENTINE’S DAY!

Love has different meanings to different people. To some love means respect. To others love means acceptance. To others, love means a gushy sentimental type of lust.

The apostle Paul wrote a lovely poetic segment in 1 Corinthians about love. When you read the following verses, you can see that love is involved with actions—how we treat our family—how we treat our church family—how we treat our enemies, and more.

In the New American Standard Version (1 Corinthians 13), Paul urges us to view love in the following ways. (New American Standard Version. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13)

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I decided to just take a few of the LOVE qualities and explain/define them using Greek the common language used in the New Testament. I pray the one the Holy Spirit wants you to hang on to this week is below.

Love [is . . .]

  1. Patient— makrothumeō (mak-roth-en)

To be long-spirited; to be long-suffering, to have long patience; to be patient; to patiently endure; slow to anger.

  1. Does not brag— perpereuomai (per-per-yoό-om-ahee)

Does not boast; to be lifted up with pride; to become haughty; to think too highly [of].

  1. Does not take into account a wrong suffered— logizomai (log-id’-zom-ahee)

To take an inventory; to conclude; to judge; to suppose; to hold.

  1. Does not rejoice in unrighteousness— chairό (khah’ee-ro)
[Do not] be glad; do not be happy; especially on meeting or parting; rejoices as in salutation or parting.

  1. Believes all things— pisteuō (pist-yoo’)

To have faith (in); upon or with respect to; a person or thing; to entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Christ.

  1. Love never fails— agape (ag-ah-pay)

Love; affection or benevolence; speaking goodwill towards others, “the love of God” or “of Christ;” being full of love; the love of our neighbor; the brotherly affection which the Lord commands and inspires.

  1. Faith—pistis (pis’tis)

Reliance on Christ for salvation; the gospel.

  1. Hope—elpis (elpece’)

To anticipate usually with pleasure; hope of salvation through Christ; earnest expectation.

  1. Love—agape (ag-ah-pay)

Love; affection or benevolence; speaking goodwill towards others, “the love of God” or “of Christ;” being full of love; the love of our neighbor; the brotherly affection which the Lord commands and inspires.

  1. Abide—menō (men’o)

To stay; to abide; to dwell.

On this Valentine’s Day, commit to becoming a loving person following the qualities Paul set out to share with the followers of Jesus.

God loves us. Let’s love others.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

God Bless.


If you missed my last blog titled, “Feeling Trapped: How to Relieve Anxiety, Depression, and Hopelessness, click here to read it. (There’s a cute photo of a cat for my cat-loving followers.)

www.GreenePastures.org/feeling-trapped


The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. Ed. Spiros Zodhiates. Chattanooga: AMG, 2008. Print.

All verses are from the NASB unless noted.


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Books by Patti Greene

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

About the author

Patti Greene

Patti Greene is the author of three outstanding devotional prayer journals, Answer Me, Anchor Me, and Awaken Me and a book titled "Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending." Patti earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and pursued graduate studies in religious education and library science spending two years as a second-grade teacher. After spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, Greene spent 18 more years as a school librarian in St. Louis, Missouri and Houston, Texas. When not writing books or blogs, Greene spends her time caregiving, reading, researching, and hanging out with her family and friends. Patti and her husband have three adult children and five grandchildren. Visit her blog at GreenePastures.org.

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