by Dedzidi Ladzekpo
PART 3 – Love Endures
Lastly, one of the things I learned about love is that, when it’s real, it truly endures in all circumstances and through all trials. “Love never ends”… right? It’s so easy to memorize those words from 1 Corinthians 13, to hear them at the end of a wedding’s Scripture reading, but it’s another thing to understand their implications and live them.
Of course, love’s endurance is something we will never be able to embody on our own strength. However, with an active kind of love, it’s important to realize what it entails. Whether it’s pointed toward your boyfriend, your best friend, or group of friends, it means you’ll have to give things up to sustain it. It means that there are times when you’ll be late to a class or lose some study time because you have to help a friend through what’s on their mind. It may even mean that you’ll have to stay up until sunrise letting them cry on your shoulder. It means that you’ll have to sacrifice what may seem like a lot of time and effort, but in the end, you’ll see that what seems like a loss will be an immeasurable gain.
In my three years here at Cornell and my twenty years on this earth, I have lost some friendships I thought would last for a lifetime. However, in it all, I’ve learned my longest lasting friendships are characterized by this sense of endurance. We both know without a doubt, at least in this present time, that there is an unspoken rule –we will do our best to be there and to stay there.
If anything, I hope this shows that love, in all senses of the word, is hard work. Regardless of what society says, it doesn’t come easily. The Christian life is just like that – hard work in light of the perfect work that Jesus Christ did on the cross. In that, we see the perfect display of love – a love for us, broken as we came, but now, in Him, no longer remain. As in the book of John, “greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). What the Lord did was the greatest and most perfect manifestation of what love does. We now live in full view of this fact hidden in the midst of that famous chapter in 1 Corinthians: “For we know in part … but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” Therefore, what makes love beautiful, what makes it desirable, is not its characteristics but its actions that last forever. There is so much more to say about love, but let me leave you with this thought – when you find yourself searching for love unknown, it may be time to search a little differently. Search for something that acts boldly, search for something that never ends. I know I did.
All Bible references are taken from the English Standard Version.
This is the third part of a three part series by Dedzidi Ladzekpo.