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As we continue to seek marriage application from the Bible’s beautiful description of love in 1 Corinthians 13, we come to an idea so important that the Scripture says it twice in slightly different ways: “Love does not boast, it is not proud.” God knows about our deep-rooted tendency to have a “me first” attitude in life, so he clearly condemns the ugly twin sins of pride and boasting.

Boastfulness is anti-love. Boasting is making a big deal out of ourselves; love is making a big deal out of somebody else.

Pride is anti-love. When we are proud, we view ourselves as the most important being in the universe; when we love, we willingly make ourselves less than someone else.

I like the way “The Message” renders this section: “Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head.” 

My natural human tendency is to view my marriage, and my life, through Blake-focused lenses. I assume that my opinion is the correct one, that my to-do list is the more urgent one, that my burden is the heavier one. I live as if life were a big movie, and I’m the main character, and Gayla is playing a supporting role in my movie along with the rest of the population of planet earth.

Dear God, rescue me from such a ridiculously vain perspective on things!

When I love Gayla with 1 Corinthians 13 love, I trade those prideful assumptions for more humble ones. I develop a healthy self-forgetfulness. It’s not that I think less of myself – I just think of myself less. And I think of her more. And I try to spend at least a few hours, or maybe a few days, playing a supporting role in her movie.

The marriage alphabet is different from the one you learned in school. In marriage, “u” comes before “i.” Because love does not boast, and it isn’t proud.