All right we’re really rolling now. Love is patient, love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. Love isn’t boastful. Love isn’t rude. Paul’s not done yet though, he continues like this. He says,
Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Let’s walk through each of these. What’s love do? What’s a healthy relationship like? Paul says love does not demand its own way. Here’s a great pointer to toxic in your relationship. When’s the last time your partner let you make a choice? When’s the last time your partner involved you in getting to be part of the decision making process? Paul says that love doesn’t demand its own way. Healthy relationships are collaborative. That’s what we can learn from that. A healthy relationship is collaborative. It’s you and your partner working together to make decisions that are best for your family. It’s not you demanding your way and making sure your partner submits to it. That’s not healthy, that’s toxic. I wonder how you guys are doing in your relationships at being able to have hard conversations about what’s important to you when you disagree. How are we doing at this? It’s the sign of a loving relationship that you can do that. Why? Because love doesn’t demand its own way.
Here’s the next one Paul gives us, he says love is not irritable. Ouch. This one hits me hard. Love is not irritable. What’s the irritability level like in your relationship? Healthy relationships are hard to offend, toxic relationships are easy to offend. Do you have to walk on eggshells around your partner? Are you constantly worried about what kind of mood they’ll be in? That’s toxic. Is there consistency in your home? Is there a sense that you have in your spirit that you generally know the disposition your partner’s going to have? That’s healthy.
Listen not being irritable doesn’t mean irritable things don’t happen. It means irritable things don’t define you. It means there’s a consistency in your life that is greater than your circumstances. Like we’ve seen with all these definitions of what love is God shares this trait with love. I love this Scripture about how steady God is, how certain you can be about Gods character and His disposition towards you. Read this Scripture with me. Hebrews 13:8 says this about Jesus it says,
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Thank God Jesus isn’t irritable! Can you imagine what it would be like if when you prayed you would have to wonder if God was in the mood to answer? Can you imagine that? Some of you think God is like that. He’s not. The Scripture says He doesn’t change like the seasons do. He’s consistent. He’s steady. He’s not irritable. Love is not irritable. If you’re in a relationship with an easily irritable person you’re in a toxic relationship.
So love does not demand its own way and love is not irritable. Paul finishes off this triad by saying that love keeps no record of being wronged. What’s that mean? It means that love is forgiving. Toxic relationships are unforgiving. Is your partner still bringing that thing up to you that you did wrong way back when? Can they not let it go? You’re in a toxic relationship. Now listen there are some things that happen in a relationship where forgiveness doesn’t mean just saying “it’s all good.” There are some serious sins that can happen against you in a relationship where you can’t just move off it like that. I don’t think this verse is talking about those situations. I think it’s talking about the everyday life kind of wrongs in a relationship that you can either choose to hold onto, or let go of.
Listen if you’re in a relationship for any length of time you’re going to experience this. There are going to be wrongs that are done against you. He’s going to forget to put the seat down. She’s going to not buy the low calorie breakfast bars you like and buy the high calorie ones instead. He’s going to make lunch and leave every item involved in making it lying out on the counter. She’s going to ask you where you want to go to dinner when she already knows where she wants to go but she’s going to make you list out like 10 restaurants first anyway. Y’all just got a little inside of our relationship there. Every week there’s stuff that’s going to grind your gears the wrong way. Every week there’s stuff that’s going to try and set you off. That’s why love can’t keep a record of wrongs. Wrongs are going to happen, love doesn’t track them.
Again this is consistent with the character of God. I love how David wrote about God’s ability to forget wrongs in Psalm 103. He wrote about it like this.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
How is Gods love expressed? David says Gods love is great. How do we know it’s great? How can we have confidence in that? Because His love has forgiven our sins. As far as the east is from the west. From Maine to California that’s how far He’s removed our sins from us. Love does not hold a record of wrongs. If your partner keeps bringing up that thing you did, if they can’t get past it, if every week there’s something new that you did wrong, that’s a toxic relationship not a healthy one.