Love Endures All Things
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
— I Corinthians 13:7

Love endures all things.  What does it mean to endure?  In this context, the word means "to remain; to persevere; to bear bravely and calmly."  Let's break that down a little and explore each of those definitions.

Love remains.

Love doesn't walk away.  It isn't dependent on circumstances or another person's behavior.  It holds fast to promises like "I will never leave you" and "for better or worse."  It remains constant on good days and bad.  It doesn't fluxtuate with the wavering tide of human emotion because love isn't an emotion.  It's an action.  It's a choice to treat another person in accordance with all of the qualifications listed in I Corinthians 13.

Love perseveres.

In many ways, this is the same as love remaining, but it goes a bit further.  To remain indicates to stay where you are while to persevere means to push forward.  Not only does love hold true to its promises and remain faithful, but it also seeks to do more.  It continues to press on no matter how difficult the circumstances.  It is not content to sit idle but is always looking for new ways to help and encourage another person.

Love bears bravely and calmly.

In short, love puts up with things.  Does he snore?  Does she slurp her soup?  Love doesn't mind.  Love is willing to put up with things (especially when those things are really no big deal) for the sake of harmony in the relationship.  That doesn't mean we should allow people to walk all over us in the name of love, but it does mean that we should be less picky and more accepting of the way others are.  Instead of dwelling on faults, love seeks to turn those little annoyances into cute character traits.  And when another person has done us wrong, love forgives.

Love endures all things.  We see this portrayed in the life of Jesus.  He remained where He was out of love and respect for His Father's will.  He remained loyal to His family, friends and even total strangers (though, is anyone actually a stranger to Jesus?).  Even on the cross, He remained there in torment and shame out of His great love for us.  Not only that, but He persevered through that pain and gave the victorious cry, "It is finished!"  And three days later, He arose from the grave.  He went beyond remaining and pressed on to finish the work He had come to do.  As for bearing bravely and calmly, I can't think of a better example than Jesus during his mock trial.  They spat on Him, ripped out His beard, called Him names, beat Him and so much more.  He could have struck them all dead without a word.  He could have called down angels.  There are so many ways He could have responded to such ill treatment and wrongdoing, yet He chose to bear it bravely and calmly.  He may not have spoken with His mouth, but His actions spoke volumes.  Jesus endured all things.

And now, He expects us to do the same.  Most of us will never experience a trial like He faced, but there will be situations in our lives where our love will be tested.  How will we respond?  Will we throw in the towel and walk away?  Will we be content to just "let it be," never working towards making things better?  Will we be willing to look past the annoyances and differences and love the person anyway?  If we're loving the way God wants us to love, we will because love endures all things.