Love Is Well-Behaved

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Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
— I Corinthians 13:4-5

This morning, I was watching an episode of the old show, Full House, and I saw today's lesson in action, sort of.  This morning, we're discussing the fact that love does not behave itself unseemly.  In other words, it acts properly and is well-behaved, which means when we love as we should, we act properly and are well-behaved.

In the show this morning, Stephanie Tanner met a new boy at school, who immediately asked her out on a date.  Flattered, she agreed, only to find out that Gia (the most popular girl in school) had already claimed the boy as her own.  She threatened Stephanie saying that if she didn't break off the date, she would regret it.  Stephanie refused to be bullied, and the next day at school, she discovered that Gia had started an ugly rumor about her.  With the entire school laughing at her, Stephanie tried to apologize to the boy, but he decided it would be best to cancel their date.

This was not the first time Gia had stuck her nose in Stephanie's business, and the middle Tanner daughter had had enough.  She decided that revenge was the answer, so the following day, she enlarged Gia's report card (which contained many failing grades) and posted it on the wall at school for all the kids to see.  Stephanie couldn't wait for Gia to arrive so she could taste her sweet revenge, but when Gia saw what had happened, it actually hurt her feelings.

After seeing Gia's tears, Stephanie immediately regretted her actions, but others assured her that she had done the right thing.  After all, Gia started it, and she certainly deserved it.  Still, Stephanie didn't feel right about it.  The story ended with her going to Gia and making things right by offering an apology and helping Gia to see there was a better way to act in life.

Love is well-behaved.  As you can see, neither Stephanie nor Gia were well-behaved in this instance.  They were mean and spiteful.  They acted out of anger and revenge.  Fortunately, in the end, love did win out, and Stephanie portrayed what true love looks like.  Her discussion with Gia at the end was a beautiful portrait of love in action.  Despite her hurt feelings and desire to get even, she reached out in kindness and compassion.  She behaved herself in a Godly manner.

Love doesn't keep score.  It doesn't seek to one-up or to get even.  Love doesn't lash out in anger or try to make itself look good by tearing down others.  It has excellent manners.

I'm thinking of a married couple I know.  As a whole, they are precious people, but whenever I'm alone with the wife, she's constantly complaining about and tearing down her husband.  He's not home enough.  He never helps around the house.  He doesn't do this, and he does do that.  Where's the love?  Honestly, from the sound of it, it sometimes seems like she can't stand him.  That's not how true love behaves.  True love deals with a problem at its source rather than publicizing it to the world.

The same can be said in regards to our love for God.  When others look at us, what do they see?  Do they see our desire for the Word of God?  Do they hear sweet and precious words about our Heavenly Father and dearest Friend?  Do they see us acting as He would act, following in His footsteps because we love Him enough to be just like Him?

Love is well-behaved.  Whether it is in our relationship with God, family, friends, acquaintances or a spouse, love doesn't act ugly.  It doesn't say mean things.  It doesn't do evil deeds.  Instead, it's always looking for ways to love more, to love better.  It doesn't ask, "What do I have to do," but rather "What can I do?"  Love is sweet and generous, no matter the circumstances.  

So, how's your love today?