Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not ambitious, it is not selfish, it is not easily provoked to anger. It rejoices not in iniquity but rejoices in the truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.  (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

I’m willing to bet that 1 Corinthians 13 (see above) sounds familiar to you, even if you’re not much of a church-goer. Probably because you heard it at a wedding. 1 Corinthians 13 is practically de rigeur at weddings. Heck, it was read at my wedding. But with so many marriages failing these days (Mr. and Mrs. Humphries, we hardly knew ye), perhaps it’s time someone took St. John to task for his writing. Because clearly, 1 Corinthians 13 isn’t telling us everything we need to know. To wit:

1. Love is weird. It doesn’t always make sense, so don’t expect it to.

2. Love can’t be judged. Just because you don’t understand it or condone it doesn’t mean it’s not love. Love is purer, and just plain better, than we human beings are. Anyone who claims that love is wrong is the wrongest person there could ever be.

3. Love changes. I am not the same person my husband married; neither is he. You’re going to do a lot of growing up over the years. Try to ignore the things that grow you apart and focus on the things that keep you together. At the very least, don’t rub these changes in your partner’s face.

4. Love does fail. But only because we do. Falling out of love doesn’t just “happen”; it’s a choice.

5. Love is bigger than you are. And it should be. In fact, it’s not about you at all. It’s about all of us. Love is the only thing that keeps humankind going. What’s the point, otherwise? And that means love is precious. It’s not like the weather, something that changes from one day to the next. I once had a colleague who told me, “My marriage is like a rollercoaster — it’s so exciting.”
“Well, mine isn’t. It’s a pretty steady road,” I replied.
“I feel sorry for you,” she said.
Guess which one of us is still married?

6. Love is hard work. Don’t doubt it for a minute.

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