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I am fifty-six years old. It is not something I am proud of, but it is something I am stuck with. My beard has gone grey, and I am losing my hair and my teeth. Hair is starting to grow in places I’d rather it didn’t (my ears for instance)! I am just about winning the battle of the waistline but it takes a lot of effort, not only to exercise, but to eat less and more carefully. None of the problems of age appear to have affected the love that my wife has for me and shows for me. Equally, I can honestly say that I love her more with each passing year. Why? Because in each additional year of being together I know more about my wife, I see greater things within her, and I like to think that I understand her a little bit more. My love is not based on external appearance (although I am relieved that she does not resemble Nanny McPhee) but on a life shared together and the person that my wife is on the inside. I do not know another person like her.

Could I live without love? I am not sure that I could. Even if Marilyn and I had never met and married I would still benefit from the love of my parents and other close members of the family, and even friends. It might be a different love, but I trust that it would be a sustaining love.

So if we assume that love is something that all human beings crave, then why is it so difficult for so many of us to accept that God loves us? The teaching in 1 Corinthians 13 about love may be a lesson from the apostle Paul to his readers, but have you ever considered if these words could be applied to God and His love for us? God loves with a passion that is so great that He created a whole universe to sustain our feeble lives. God loved us so much that He was prepared to do anything to guarantee a place for us in eternity. God loves us so much that He watches over us while we sleep and then spends all of our waking hours patiently waiting for us to give Him a brief portion of our day. God’s love. The most precious and valuable love of all comes at a price to Him, but without cost to us.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

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