They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Anytime you thumb through wedding albums, glance at walls filled with family pictures, or scroll through social media, you see smiling faces. If you guessed at what the lives of those smiling people were like, you might assume they’re always happy. Right?
But what about the days, weeks, and months in between those pictures? The “thousand words” a picture represents are filled with joy, peace, and hope, but between those pictures exists the drama, frustration, and sadness every person and relationship experiences. As much as we’d like to hope our relationships would be immune to such obstacles, every kind of relationship faces challenges.
Would you believe those in-between times actually can make our relationships sweeter? It’s the disagreements you’ve walked through that make you appreciate, and maybe even cultivate, times of peace. It’s the caring for a sick friend that makes you thankful for days of health. It’s the account balance approaching the single digits that brings gratitude in times of plenty.
But that’s not all the in-between can do.
The in-between makes room for us to learn how to love with the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. It’s easy to be patient, kind, selfless, and forgiving when times are good. Yet real love is needed on in-between days when we’d rather be impatient, angry, selfish, and unforgiving. This in-between, 1 Corinthians 13 love doesn’t happen overnight. It comes with all the time and tests between the picture-perfect moments. It comes as we learn to love selflessly, like Jesus.
Is that the sort of love you want in your relationships? Then embrace the in-between, and keep reading to learn about real, biblical relationship goals from 11 very different people.
Pray: God, give me the courage to give and pursue true love in my relationships no matter what they’re up against.