Up until a few months ago, I never really knew what it meant to truly love someone. Sure, I knew of familial love, but I consider that to be in a whole different ball game than non-genetic love.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy it does not boast….
I’ve heard this verse so many times that it’s engraved itself into my heart. I’ve loved with as much grace and patience I can. I’ve loved as kindly as I can. I’ve loved as strong as I can.
And, you know what? I’ve learned that part of loving other people is loving yourself, too. Being kind and patient with someone doesn’t mean that you ignore their faults or let them make mistake after mistake with no consequences. It doesn’t mean that you let people walk all over you.
Even the bible preaches this, in my opinion. Sure, there is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 that describes the ‘good parts’ of love, but there are countless stories where the ‘bad’–no, constructive parts of love are shown. The parts where Jesus flips the tables and gets rightly angry because He loves the people so much, He doesn’t want to see them disrespecting a sacred space. There is the night before the betrayal where Jesus calls His disciples out on going to sleep when He goes off to talk to God. Does that mean He loved them any less? No. It means He loved them so much He pointed out their flaws so that they could grow with them.
True love is patient, kind, and so much more. It is both wonderful and messy. It involves being able to respect both yourself and others.