by Kraig and Kelsey Sorvick
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
Relationships, whether within the context of friendship, marriage, parenting, work, church, or any other circumstance, come with their fair share of challenges. It often seems that the more one spends time with another person, the more each person's “junky” qualities rise to the surface. We have learned that marriage is nothing if not sanctifying. The more we dwell in the trenches, the more we we expose each other's sin. We wish we could say we walk through each challenge, argument, or crisis with grace, but our selfishness can get in the way, causing us to wound each other with our words or actions. Anger turns to bitterness, bitterness turns to resentment, and if we are not careful, a grudge threatens to poison our day, week, or month.
After being in a relationship for years, we are still learning how to navigate challenging circumstances with love. When in the middle of a quarrel, we always wonder why we didn't respond with love in the first place.
Remembering scripture steadies us when in the throes of marital hardship. 1 Peter 4:8 is the perfect reminder that, in relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to love first and be slow to accuse or convict. Galatians 5 lists love as the first Fruit of the Spirit. This could imply that love is the most important fruit of all, as the other fruits tend to stem from it. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love “thinks no evil” and “does not keep record of wrong”. Instead, we should not sweat the small stuff, and approach larger offenses by confronting one another in love, with grace.
As followers of Christ, our goal is to emulate Him and bear fruit, including the “above all” fruit of love. In the context of our relationship with Christ, His perfect love covers our sin. What would our relationships look like with our fellow believers if we looked at all wrongdoings in this manner? When a husband blames: love covers. When a wife nags: love covers. When a child disobeys: love covers. When a friend betrays: love covers. When a co-worker lashes out in anger: love covers. When a neighbor envies: love covers.
Let us not keep the gift of living under Christ's love to ourselves, but bear it as a fruit, extending to our fellow believers the forgiveness and redemption that His love brings.