I didn’t get a chance to write a Love Tune-Up post last week, so today, you get a two-for post on love. This week’s topic: love does not act unbecomingly and does not seek its own. I’d say that these may be the hardest things to do correctly when it comes to love, but it all can be pretty challenging…smile!
“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.” (I Corinthians 13:4-8 NASB)
First up, unbecomingly is probably not a word most of us use very often. In essence, it means:
- not becoming (thanks for the enlightenment, Merriam Webster)
- especially : not according with the standards appropriate to one’s position or condition of life
- not appropriate, attractive, or flattering
The thing that stuck out to me is that for something to be unbecomingly, there first has to be a standard or model of how things should be or behave. In fact, the Bible is filled with scriptures detailing how our conduct should be in various types of relationships including those between husband-wife (e.g. Ephesians 5:22-33) and parent-child (e.g. Ephesians 6:1-4). As Christians, it should be our continuous aim to learn these standards. If you’ve ever tried to get out of a speeding ticket, you might have been told that ignorance of the law is no excuse (nor is blatant disobedience).
The other important point is there are particular standards for each position or condition of life. For example, what God expects of a husband differs from what’s expected of a wife. As such, we need to make sure we focus on the standards for our position. A baseball team, won’t get very far if its players try to take on too many roles–no matter how competent the players. Can you imagine a game where the pitcher is also catcher and first baseman? Even if he’s the greatest pitcher to ever live, it’s just not doable. Not only will his reputation fall fast, but his team will lose.
Where’s Your Focus?
A relationship built on love requires a focus and attention on others. A healthy relationship can’t exist if our focus is always on self–focusing on what we want, our feelings, our needs, etc. The bad news is we come out of the womb focusing on self. The good news is we can push our selfish tendencies away through faith. When you have faith that God’s going to take care of you no matter what, you don’t have as big of a need to seek your own.
Put it to action
Give yourself an honest assessment of how you are in these areas. If you dare to be so bold, I even challenge you to ask those you’re in relationship with how you’re doing. Whether you’re a mom, husband, child, sister, friend or whatever, seek out scriptures, mentors and Christian books to learn more about God’s standards and how to be effective in your current position.