Love Behaves Itself Well
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 1 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV)
The Greek word for behave one’s self unseemly, aschemoneo, or to act unbecomingly, helps us to understand what the God kind of love is not. It is never inappropriate.
How, then, does this love behave itself? It behaves itself well in all circumstances. It behaves itself like Jesus did.
Love operates within covenant understanding. It asks for nothing in return except total loyalty to the covenant agreement.
In marriage it acts solely for the benefit of one’s spouse. It causes an individual to always act appropriately toward the one to whom they are wed; attentiveness to their needs, likes and dislikes. It demands fidelity, ongoing faithfulness to the marriage contract (covenant) which can be summarized in the vow that states, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
In the Christian context it is first pledged in the prayer of acceptance (the sinners prayer) when an individual pledges their life to Christ by inviting Him to be both Lord and Savior. It can also be seen in Galatians 2:20:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
The Christian is expected to live a life that is one with Christ in word and deed. As in marriage, the two become one and behave as such. That, for us, it is a process goes without saying.
Sanctification is a process as well as a state of being.
We walk in love toward one another even as He walked in love toward us and behave ourselves accordingly (Joh.13:34; 15:12, 17; Rom.13:8; 1 Thes. 4:9; 1 Pet.1:22; 1 Joh. 3:23; 4:7, 11-12; 2 John 1:5). If we do this we shall behave well.
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