The ramblings that appear when I'm driven to write what's in my head, rather than what's in someone else's.
Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)
I’ve always loved this verse. There’s so much optimism, so much–well, faith, hope and love in it. But when you think about it a little, it’s not just saying that faith, hope and love will last forever.
It’s saying that faith, hope and love last TOGETHER. It explains this earlier in the chapter, but I’ve never really thought about it.
Faith, hope and love cannot exist alone. Without faith, you cannot have hope or love. Without hope, you cannot have faith or love…you get it.
When I look back at my relationships, it was when one of the legs of this three-legged stool was removed that the relationship got tippy.
The faith wears thin when you believe they will let you down rather than hold you up. It disappears completely when you KNOW that’s what they’re going to do. I’m not saying it can’t be built back up, but unless there’s a conscious effort to build that faith, it won’t get better. Maybe it’s a downfall on my part. Maybe my faith isn’t strong enough. But looking back, I always start out having faith. I have faith that they will be who they say they will be, and do they things they say they will do. When they’ve proven that’s not true, the faith wobbles and finally disappears.
Luckily for love, hope can cover for faith. If faith gets wobbly, hope holds stronger. I keep hoping that my faith will be restored. But when faith is consistently let down, hope topples too.
Luckily for faith and hope, love can take care of them both. When the faith has given out, when the hope is gone, love will take over. It will hold you up, hold you together, and carry you through those tough times. But if faith and hope don’t get it back together, love gets weary.
So, the conclusion I have come to is that this verse is meant to apply only to yourself. By that I mean that in a two-way relationship, your job is to BUILD the faith, hope and love that the other person has in YOU. Keep that three-legged stool stable. It’s THEIR job to build the faith, hope and love that you have in THEM. And it’s your job to let them. To believe that that’s what they’re doing.
Until you know they’re not.
Recognize when faith and hope aren’t pulling their weight, and that you’re letting love cover for them. Because if you don’t, you’re just going to end up with a wobbly stool that tips you over when you most need it to hold you up.