If love never fails, how is it that there are many broken marriages? This has been the question of many. If it is true that love never fails as stated in Scriptures, why are marriages and even relationships among siblings and friends breaking up? By the looks of it, it is as if the Word of God has failed. But this is not true. The Word of God is always true and if it appears to have failed, it is not the Word that failed but us. In saying that love never fails in 1 Corinthians 13:8, the Apostle Paul’s premise was emphasized in verses 4 -7 of the same chapter. He said, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.” If we are able to live by what this definition of love requires, love will never fail.
In his epistle, the apostle John clarified the unfailing nature of love when he said, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Since God is love, how can love fail? Love will indeed never fail but if love will ever fail, it is us who failed. We failed to live by the standard of love that God demands from us. While we are commanded to be patient, we are often impatient, not to mention being unkind to those that we profess to love. We are also often so self-centered that we do not focus our attention to the object of our love but to ourselves. These and many other factors that are contrary to the standard of God’s love will cause love to fail.
Love never fails also in the sense that love never ends – it is everlasting. Again, the apostle Paul explained the unending nature of love when he contrasted love with other gifts that we received from the Lord. He said, “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 Cor. 13:8). All these other gifts have an ending but love has no end. In particular, God’s love for us will never end. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jer. 31:3). The unchanging nature of God’s love gives us confidence to walk faithfully before him. He will always be there for us—in good times and bad. And Jeremiah, in the Book of Lamentations, hastened to add, “Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23).
How about our love for one another? We are also commanded to love endlessly. The apostle Paul said, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8). We are forever indebted to one another to love each other. In fact, just as a lender demands payment from those who owed him money, we can also demand love from one another because of this “continuing debt to love one another.” For love to endure, we should not keep a record of wrongs. Once we have forgiven someone, let us forget and move on. The sad thing, however, is that we are good at keeping a record of all the wrongs people have done against us, but we never keep a record of the good things they have done to us. If only we can forget the wrongs and remember the good things they have done, we can have better and lasting relationship with one another.
Our love for one another must also be sincere as emphasized by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans. He said, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Rom. 12:9-10). Unless our love for one another is sincere, love will fail. Insincere love is so temporal and wickedness can always come to cut it even shorter. This is the reason why we are commanded also to hate what is evil. Let our brotherly love prevail in our relationships so we may be more forgiving. The reason many could not forgive is because of pride. There is always that idea that when you forgive, you are unduly submitting yourself to the control of others. This prompts pride to kick in and cause one to refuse to forgive and forget. Needless to say, this will cause love to fail. Therefore, let us love one another sincerely from our hearts and forgive one another. Let us endeavor to keep our relationships strong for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father. Hallelujah!