Show them “The Most Excellent Way”

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R. M. Strong

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 NIV)

 

There are many things that come to mind when one thinks of patient love. One of those is abstinence (patiently waiting for physical love). Another may be waiting for Mr. or Miss Right to come along, or being patient and not hurrying into marriage. Others substitute the word “love” for “God” in these passages (taking an idea from 1 John 4:8) and remind us that God is patient, God is kind, God does not envy or boast or is proud or rude, self-seeking and the rest.

 

In my new novella (available today), Patient Love, Jasmine realizes that what she had been viewing as love was anything but. After her fiancé leaves her, she begins to recognize that Philip was not patient, or kind. He was easily angered, and would have never protected and didn’t trust her further than he could throw her. Only after she heard a sermon on the passage quoted above did Jasmine realized that the way Philip treated her was not the way God wanted her to be treated. Philip did not love her sacrificially, as Christ loved the Church. Philip had treated her as someone who should be controlled, not someone who would be a helper. Even after he throws her out days before the wedding, he still expects her to bow to his will.

 

Unfortunately, Jasmine’s sermon-time revelation is all too common. Teaching these truths to all women—but especially the younger ones—in our lives is vitally important in today’s society. Look at the teens and young adults today. They are told that being with someone—even if he treats you horribly—is better than being single. They believe—because they are not told otherwise—that there is no real benefit for waiting until marriage. Young women today—even Christian girls—believe that only a guy will fulfill their needs. They are told that if they respect themselves and set standards for themselves no one will love them. They are told that dancing suggestively in a nude-colored bikini with a man twice your age will get you notoriety and fame and everyone will want to be just like you.

 

But love is patient. Love is kind. Love would not do those things. Just as important as teaching our girls to look for someone who will be patient, kind, protecting and everything else—and to not settle for anything else—is teaching them to love themselves that way as well. Parents, teachers, and pastors of boys, as well (and I am one of them), need to teach their boys to “go for” girls that love themselves as God loves them.

 

Society tells our kids—and told Jasmine—that there is no benefit to being patient, least of all with themselves. It is our job as adults in their lives to “show them the most excellent way.”

 

R.M. Strong has been working with youth—middle school and high school students—since 1998. Patient Love is Mrs. Strong’s fourth book, joining Young Adult novels Karis and Flash and historical fiction What Difference Does Seven Days Make? Patient Love is available now in print and electronically on Amazon and Smashwords. View all of her books at http://rmstrongbooks.weebly.com

 

 

To get your copy of  Patient Love:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/15mucLG
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1aecPhW

 

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  1. LOVE IS; | Gracious
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