Love is Strong

As a boy and teenager I understand very much what it meant to be loved.   I was blessed with two wonderful parents that never offered me anything but unconditional love.   But I knew very little about what it meant to love.

In my 20’s I began to learn somewhat of what it meant to love and sacrifice after I was married.     Now in my 50’s, and after being married for over thirty-four years, my love has matured to the place where I have learned to love just a small bit as Christ loves me.

The lesson I learned the most about love is one that never entered my mind when I was younger.   Before I tell you, I don’t want you to think I am being cynical; I am not.  It is simply the truth.

Here it is – the deeper you love, the deeper you will hurt.   Those that love the most feel the most and will hurt the most.

Many people bail out of relationships because their perception of love only included their feeling good.    When it began to cost them and the sacrifice brought pain and hurt, they ran.   That is when genuine love begins, when it hurts the most.

Have you ever had a difficult time loving someone?    Of course, we all have; it’s part of life.  It happens in our families, too.   Between a husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters.

The whole gang in the fall of 2011.

The whole gang in the fall of 2011.

If I were to ask you to write down unpleasant people that were a challenge to love you wouldn’t have to think long at all.     We’re surrounded by them.     An honest confession would cause us to admit that we are those people sometimes – in our homes, at work, in church, at school.

When the loving gets tough the temptation is to want to disentangle yourself from the trouble and pain it causes you.   However, if you really know anything about love, you cannot and will not walk away from them. 

Love does not quit when things get tough; that’s when love is tested and proven.   The Bible states that love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”   (I Corinthians 13:7)

This is one of the most amazing verses in all of the Bible about the degree to which love will go.   We cannot miss the comprehension and broadness of love’s behavior by the use of the words “all things”.   Love is not easy or cheap; it is costly and painful.    Love is strong and tough.

Years ago I heard a song by Paul Overstreet that puts this in practical terms.   Here are his words.

“Love is Strong”

It takes a lot to be silent when someone does you wrong;

It takes a lot to just stand there, choosing to be meek, appearing to be weak.

Love is strong; love is strong;

It can move a mountain; it can roll away the stone.

Love is strong; love is strong;

But it never demands it’s own way,

No, it never demands it’s own way.

When I looked back on how you moved me without pushing me at all,

With your tender ways you wooed me, you turned my life around,

You barely made a sound.

It’s never hopeless for the helpless, I was as helpless as could be,

Now, I’ve become a true believer that it’s a powerful thing.

Love is strong, love is strong;

It can move a mountain, it can roll away the stone.

Love is strong, love is strong;

But it never demands it’s own way,

No, it never demands it’s own way.

To live this way is not easy or natural; in fact, it is impossible and supernatural.   Only God’s presence in us can allow us to care this much when it hurts so deep.    This is mature love, the way God loves us and the way we are to love.

In the following posts I’ll take each of the four characteristics of the strength and steadfastness of love and show how they apply to our lives in practical ways.

Perhaps you have been influenced by the common belief that love is easy.    The opposite is true; real love is not easy and those that love will pay a price.   But in the end, it is worthwhile and the most fulfilling life in the world.

Someone wrote, “The greatest thing in life is not in being loved, but in loving”.    May we do that today, especially in our families, when it gets tough.    Love is strong.


About familyencouragement

Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Married for 41 years with seven children and nine grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Faithfulness, Family Issues, Love, Loyalty, Marriage and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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