Courtship and Love Advice From Paul to the Corinthians
Have you ever thought why the fans and audience freak out at a concert when they get to see their favorite celebrity couple on stage? Or even in a supposedly serious seminar, you could make the crowd smile with a story about love? This implies the universality of love. Everybody could relate because all of us have felt love, one way or another. Either we’re at the giving or receiving end; it is still love. Everyone has a story to share.
Courtship and Love as Shaped by the Catholic Church
For the longest time, Filipinos have been very conservative about courtship, and the Catholic belief, being the predominant religion of the country has a lot to do with this mindset. As Adam appeared stronger than Eve, men are expected to make the first move and take the lead in relationships. It is also the case in Mexico, another Catholic country, wherein women are taught to be soft-spoken while men are dominant.
Today, however, Filipinos have become more open to a less patriarchal system. Gender roles are gradually being abolished. As a result, it lends more opportunities for equality and loving freely without barriers.
Adam is meant for Eve and not for another Adam implies heterosexuality. It is another prominent concept in Philippine dating. However, society has now come to accept the celebration of love in all its forms. More same-sex couples are gaining the courage to step out amidst the fear of condemnation. Surprisingly, Brazil, in spite of its Catholic influences, is already very open about celebrating the diversity of love.
With our entire concept about how love is and how marriage should be, have we ever asked what exactly the Bible states about courtship and romance?
Courtship and Love as Told by the Bible
1 Corinthians 13:4 starts a very popular Bible verse about love. It says:
“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,
and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with
the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
Interestingly, digging into every single statement in this verse, we could already know so much about love, and gain dating advice for free!
Love is Patient; It is Kind
Finding love is not a rush. Most of the Filipinos believe there is no deadline when it comes to love. Time never runs out. So don’t get too excited to meet “the one.” Take time to know yourself, discover your passions, and explore the world. Even when you are over 40 or 50 or 60, Filipinos still believe you can find love and are patient in this endeavor.
Be kind, not just to the people around you, but most importantly, to yourself. Develop that attitude of self-love and security. Work towards that sense of fulfillment and completion. Somewhere, somehow, the right one for you is also working towards making themselves their best version for you.
Love Does Not Envy; It Does Not Boast; Love is Not Proud.
When your close friends have found the love of their lives, don’t envy and don’t feel bad. All is made perfect in God’s time. The Bible informs us that God’s ways are different from ours and His thoughts are higher than our greatest capabilities.
He also has His own timetable for everything. Once you have found the love of your life, remain humble. Do not condemn other people’s love. Stay grateful for the love you have, the relationship you’re in, and the chance to make a difference in another person’s life.
Love Does Not Dishonor Others; It is not self-seeking
When in love, you have to respect people who play a role in you and your partner’s life. Value the people who matter to your partner – their parents, close friends, and mentors. But most importantly, the Bible compels us to respect our partners.
Listen to their preferences and desires. Don’t invalidate their fears and insecurities. Be in a relationship not to serve your convenience, but to overflow with love. If you have to sacrifice for the person you love, be willing to do it all over again for love.
Love is Not Easily Angered; It Keeps No Record of Wrongs
From courtship to the couple stage, up to married life – this is something that is very important, but also very difficult to apply. The Bible does not tell us not to be angry at all. It reminds us not to be easily angered.
The bible prompts us to be gentle-hearted, bearing with each other in love. It also teaches us to forgive, and not just forgive, but forget. There has to be no record. It teaches us to surrender all our burdens to God and never to avenge. The bible also tells us to set aside our anger for the sake of love and to prioritize our relationship over our emotional hullabaloo.
Love Does Not Delight in Evil But Rejoices with the Truth
The Bible teaches us to skip the “best foot forward” stage wherein we pretend to be somebody we are not to please the people we want. From the springs of the relationship until it matures, we have to show our real selves.
Love demands us to be faithful and never let infidelity enter our doors, not even our hearts or minds. Moreover, if we ever fall into sin, we have to be honest enough to confess and repent afterward. People in real love are not happy and will not live in peace if they do not live in truth.
Love Always Protects, Trusts, Hopes, and Perseveres
In love, we can’t be there for our partner only during the times when we enjoy and leave them when we don’t feel like being with them. The Bible was very consistent in reminding us that love always protects, always hopes, etc. It has to be a continuing thing. The love God has planned for us is a love that perseveres and lasts. It is a kind of love wherein you choose to be with each other every day despite the challenges. It is because you have both decided to give each other a chance to hope and to trust.
Love never fails. It will find you wherever and whenever you least expect it. Love will surprise you in the times when you think you’ve seen enough of the world already. It will come to you, and it will stay even in the moments when leaving seems to be the best option. Love will simply remain and will be made perfect in God’s time.