Hi, this is pastor Ken, thanks for joining me for my Monday Marriage Message. Today we continue defining love, agape love, according to 1 Corinthians 13. Today’s love characteristic is found in the beginning of verse 5…Love Does Not Behave Rudely.
This may seem like a no brainer but just look around a little more closely and you are sure to notice those who profess to love someone or should, acting rudely toward that person. It begs the question, should we also be considering the converse truth of this scripture? If we are acting rudely toward someone we cannot also say that we love that person, or at least we cannot say we are lov-ing that person. As humans we like to think that if we get something right most of the time we should get credit for getting it right all the time. What I mean by that is that if I treat my wife in loving ways most of the time, I want to be able to say that I love her and have her accept that as truth…even in those times I don’t get it right. The problem with that approach is twofold. The first problem is that I am likely not going to give her the same latitude in my mind if the tables are turned. In that situation I am probably going to hold her to the correct standard…you know, the one I did not hold myself to. That standard is this, love is an absolute…not an average. In truth, we don’t get to say that if I am loving most of the time, I am loving all of the time. As I have mentioned in past podcasts, love is action…not emotion. My actions at any given moment are either loving or they are not loving. If I am acting rudely toward my wife or anyone else, in that moment…I am not loving, because according to 1 Corinthians 13:5 love does not behave rudely.
The dictionary defines rudely as lacking refinement or delicacy. It goes on to say that someone who acts rudely acts in ways that seem ignorant or unlearned, inelegant or uncouth. Acting rudely is further defined as being discourteous or uncivilized, and coarse or vulgar.
As we have done in the previous weeks, allow me to make note of the original language and the definitions of the Greek term. In the original manuscripts the word we are translating to rudely in the New King James Version is aschemoneo (as-kay-mon-eh-o). This word means to act improperly or dishonorably. Additional words used to describe this Greek term are unseemly, indecent or unbecoming.
For scriptural reference let’s consider the following. Ephesians 4:29 in the New Living Translation says: Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. If love does not behave rudely then how we speak about those we claim to love…in or outside their presence matters. Romans 12:10 admonishes us to consider others as more important than ourselves. It makes the point that this is a loving mindset and will result in loving action. When we add that to the scripture above we must recognize that the things we say about and to others should be better than what we would want them to say in regards to us. Luke 6:31 clearly points out that at the least we should; Do unto others what we would want them to do unto us. Finally, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says: So encourage each other and build each other up…
Loving action that is not rude will always consider others first and be very careful not to say or do things that would damage the other person’s reputation or standing. It will build others up and never tear them down. It is always looking for opportunities to increase others opinions about the one we say we love, and never to bring shame or humiliation. Love, real love does not speak words or act in ways that are at another’s expense…even in jest.
Questions to answer:
What do you think about the statement “Love is an absolute, not an average”?
Is it easy or difficult for you to maintain loving (according to this scripture) action toward others when they are not present if others are openly acting rudely toward them?
When do you think it is acceptable to joke about someone you love at their expense?
When is it appropriate for them to have fun at yours?
Actions to take:
Have an honest discussion with your spouse concerning what your mutual expectations should be when it comes to speaking with someone else about each other.
If necessary, seek your spouse’s forgiveness for times you may not have been careful enough and you acted rudely.
So now, loving your spouse in the ways Christ wants you to…all the time…Go Be Awesome!