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What Does the Bible Mean by “Love Always Perseveres?”

Love always perseveres—the last but not the least important characteristic of true and biblical love found in 1 Corinthians 13:7. It is a very important ingredient in why love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). Love is more than just that fuzzy and warm feeling you have when you see the one you love. It is a life-long commitment. It is common in all relationships to face challenges. This is because individuals with diverse backgrounds, characters, temperaments, and perspectives come together, becoming one flesh in the case of marriage. Different worlds coming together or becoming one flesh can easily collide with just one opposing difference. Love that always perseveres is what makes every God-given relationship succeed despite the conflicts and strains that come along the way.

God has given us the gift of relationships, but sadly, sin, the world, and the devil find their way in and corrupt the beauty and sanctity of it. We hear of marriages torn apart by divorce just because of a trivial disagreement, family members estranged from each other due to unsettled arguments, and long-time friends turned into enemies after hurting words were released against each other. We easily throw away a relationship when it goes beyond the tolerable amount of strain we can take or if we don’t “feel” love anymore. But these are all dependent upon our choices. Relationships become disposable when we don’t choose to persevere in love.

In the KJV, “love always perseveres” is translated as “love endureth all things.” This means that one who truly loves will persevere through all kinds of challenges for the sake of keeping the relationship. The word “persevere” or “endureth” is translated from the Greek word hupomeno, which means to remain, abide, not recede or flee, endure, or bear bravely and calmly. One who has Godly love will not abandon or run away from the relationship when bad times hit but choose to remain or abide. That is why couples in wedding ceremonies vow to remain or abide with each other “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” Love does not give up but perseveres through all things, always. 

But we must be aware of our own weakness in trying to keep this kind of steadfast love. Our sinful nature would always be inclined to choose what is selfish and ungodly.

“[10] As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

(Romans 3:10-12 KJV)

Our fallen nature affects how we persevere in our relationships with God and others. That is why we must not depend upon human strength and wisdom but upon God. Jesus teaches us to remain in Him to produce fruit.

“[5] I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. [9] As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. [10] If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

(John 15:5,9-10 KJV)

Only through Christ will we be able to have a love that always perseveres, for this kind of love was not taught by Jesus just with words but with sacrificial demonstration. Because of God’s enduring love, the one and only Son was given to us, and for more than 30 years here on earth, He was familiar with all our sufferings. It was His persevering love that made Him endure the scorn and shame of the cross (Hebrews 12:2), endure the scourging of the Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:26), carry the cross and fall three times on His way to Calvary, yet kept on standing up to finish His sacrifice for us. He was betrayed and faced all the mockery and insults from people, yet persevered in releasing forgiveness to His oppressors (Luke 23:34). He was nailed to the cross and was regarded as a criminal despite His innocence. Jesus endured all these and more for the sake of love. Imagine the kind of persistent love that God has for us, despite our unfaithfulness. He loves us with unfailing and everlasting love. I hope that knowing all this will make us rely upon His love and be enabled to always love with perseverance.

“[37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Romans 8:37-39 KJV)

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