1 CORINTHIANS 13:4 (ESV) 4. Love is patient & kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5. or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6. it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices at truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
It’s March 20th, 2013 & I (Kevin) am writing this newsletter from a hospital bed at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Spring, Colorado. I am grateful for the incredibly kind staff of doctors & nurses that are going out of their way to make sure my stay is as enjoyable (the doctor tells me it may be 5-14 days even if we can bypass surgery) as a stay at the infamous Broadmoor Hotel here in Colorado Springs.
Of course at most of the top notch hotels or resorts in the country you don’t have the luxury of being fed in the comfort of your bed through a direct intravenous line into your body, rather than having to get up and walk or drive to a local restaurant-big inconvenience right? I am here again for the second time in a week because of an intense flare up of Crohn’s Disease, a disease that I was diagnosed with in 2005. Since we’ve been here in Colorado I’ve been in the ER several times for treatment of Crohn’s flare ups.
For those that don’t know, Crohn’s is an auto-immune disease. “The most popular theory is that the body’s immune system reacts abnormally in people with Crohn’s disease, mistaking bacteria, foods, and other substances for being foreign. The immune system’s response is to attack these “invaders.” During this process, white blood cells accumulate in the lining of the intestines, producing chronic inflammation, which leads to ulcerations and bowel injury.” (taken from an arcticle found on the Serovera website)
The reason I’m writing about this episode in my life is to first of all give God the glory for what he is doing in my life. He keeps reminding me how precious every day is and that life is a gift from the Almighty. He has also taught me more and more over the years of back pain and intense abdominal pain to notice the pain others are in so that I can intentionally reach out to them in prayer. I do this because I have received so generously from the body of Christ. Secondly to give thanks for a wife that has given so much and sacrificed so much during many times of trials in my life due to two back surgeries and many bouts with Crohn’s disease. My intention is not to just brag about my wife (however I will brag on her!) but to remind you all to remember the sacrifices your spouse makes for your marriage whether they seem big or small. It is a true gift to be cared for by the love of your life!
I can tell you up front that I am not always patient or kind; I do envy and I do boast at times; I OFTEN insist on my own ways; by God’s grace I do not struggle much with resentment, however I am often irritable. With that said, I want to learn how to live by 1 Corinthians more consistently the way my wife does. She has been an exceptional example of this with all she has endured. Our lifestyle alone would not be easy for most people but then there has been two back surgeries, one in November of 2010, and the second in April of 2012, plus all of my other health issues and recoveries. Living in a loving way is much harder during trials but it is also so much richer.
HOW CAN I PUT THIS INTO PRACTICE?
1. Meditate on verses like these & ask God for His power to practice the principles rather than leaning on my strength.
2. Use techniques of accountability with a friend that can help sharpen me in areas that need growth.
3 Practice showing appreciation so that my spouse knows how I feel about her and all she does for me and the family.
These are just practical ways that you also can live out 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 on a daily basis. Give it a try & we’d love to hear your testimonies of how God works in your marriage through practical tools to strengthen your marriage.
Follow us on Facebook or twitter.