I can think of no better way to end our series on love than with the powerful statement: Love never fails. The word "fail" here means "to cast off; to fall away from; to end." When I read these definitions, a couple of verses come to my mind.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. He is able to keep us from falling. His love for us is so strong that it can never falter or fail. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us more, nor is there anything we can do to cause Him to love us less. His love is constant, stable and secure, and we can rest in that truth.
So, how does this relate to our love for one another? In striving to be like God, we, too, should seek to have a love that is constant rather than one that is fleeting based on whims, emotions, or circumstances. We should be committed to our relationships for the long haul and be willing to put forth the effort required to keep things running smoothly.
Notice how Paul continued in verse 8. After stating that love never fails, he gave a list of other things that do. Prophesies shall fail. Tongues shall cease. Knowledge shall vanish away. But love remains true. In the same way, we know that many things change or fall away in life. The good looks fade. The slender figure is replaced with a "fluffier" version. The hair thins. The wrinkles increase. The eyesight fails. The seasons of friendship change. Many times, these changes cause people to move on to greener pastures or higher ground or whatever they want to call it. When questioned about their actions, they often give the lame excuse, "I guess I just fell out of love." We don't fall in love, and we certainly don't fall out of it. If love fails, it's because someone (or more than one someone) chose to stop loving. They chose to stop doing the work. I know that sounds harsh, but according to everything we've learned here in the Love Chapter, it's a fact.
So, if love never fails, why do half of all marriages end up in divorce? Why are there broken friendships? Why do we have family members we refuse to speak to? In short, love never fails, but we certainly do. Somewhere along the way, we forgot how to love. We weren't patient, kind or unselfish. We failed to bear, believe, hope and endure all things. We dropped the ball, and our relationships suffered. It wasn't love's fault. It was our unwillingness to love as we should. (I almost said it was our inability to love, but that's not right. I just shared the verse that God is able to keep us from falling, which means He's given us the ability to love as we should. We just don't always do it.)
Paul ends the chapter by proclaiming, "We have faith, hope and charity, but the greatest is charity." Why? Why is love the greatest? I believe it is because if we practice true love, everything else will fall into place. Love solves a lot of problems before they even occur. Love creates harmony and peace. It settles and often even prevents disputes. Love keeps us looking forward instead of back, striving to do for others instead of ourselves. How much sweeter and smoother life would be if each of us would love according to these guidelines!
How's your love today?