Saturday, January 14, 2017

Love Always Protects



My back yard

στέγω,v \{steg'-o}
1) deck, thatch, to cover 1a) to protect or keep by covering, to preserve 2) to cover over with silence 2a) to keep secret 2b) to hide, conceal 2b1) of the errors and faults of others 3) by covering to keep off something which threatens, to bear up against, hold out against, and so endure, bear, forbear

Love always protects. (1 Corinthians 13:7)

In my late teens, whenever I had a date with a girl, I would be thinking, "Will she have sex with me?" One time I was with this girl in the back seat of a car and started putting physical moves on her. She pushed my hand away. She wanted none of that. I didn't understand, and tried to convince her otherwise. That was the last time she went out with me. 

Good for her! She set a boundary. I did not respect it.

Feeling disrespected, she wanted nothing more to do with me. I was so self-centered that the concepts of honor and respect were not part of my DNA. I did not know love, or how to love and be loved. I did not understand that love always protects.

The Greek verb 
stego means, "to bear." This does not mean love "bears up under things," but that "love bears all things up." "Love carries everything." (Lewis Smedes, Love Within Limits, 94) Lewis Smedes writes:

"Love hates a scandal... [L]ove drives us away from scandal for deeper reasons than propriety and good taste. Scandal hurts people; and love hates everything that hurts people. This is why a loving person is turned off by gossip and rumor - out of concern for the people being whispered about." (Ib., 95)

Love carries our sorrows. Love never causes more sorrow. "Sorrow is a suffering of the mind, the hurt of knowing that something is wrong." (Ib., 97) Love is a cure for, not a cause of, emotional pain. The girl who refused my sexual advances refused to be victimized by my disrespect of her.

To respect is to protect.


Love always cares for the other, with no expectation of anything in return.

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My recent book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.


I'm currently writing Leading the Presence-Driven Church.