Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Relate: I am not really a fan of spoof movies. Strike that. Let me say it a different way. I am really not a fan of spoof movies. Spaceballs is possibly the only exception to that. I didn’t care for Scary Movie. I didn’t watch all its sequels, and I have avoided like the plague anything AP (Austin Powers/American Pie). I have also managed to avoid Not Another Teen Movie, Epic Movie, and Shaun of the Dead and I wish I was as discerning in my younger years so that I could have avoided Airplane, Hot Shots, and Robin Hood: Men In Tights.
That said, I have to confess that I recently did watch Barely Lethal. I think I might have been feeling the need to torture myself a bit. Perhaps I was wondering how you could spoof a movie that was so bad it could almost be considered a spoof itself (Kingsman). Whatever the reason, I apparently wasn’t tired enough to escape my boredom by retreating into the world of dreams. The movie had nothing to offer. I think both Samuel Jackson and Jessica Alba should fire their managers for their negligence in landing this role.
All vitriol aside, I was actually shocked that when I was reading through 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, that it was the “love triangle” in this movie that I started thinking of. You have the lead actress liking the lovable geek but crushing on the handsome rock star. The rock star likes her but not nearly as much as he loves himself. The dorky geek… well, the way he acts toward her could probably come as close to defining love Biblical style as Hollywood will ever get. He is generous, he’s kind. He puts her first. He treats her with the same respect during both her low (dorky outsider) and high (viral youtube hero) moments.
React: Obviously, being a cheesy cliche’ movie, the heroine figures out before the end who she really should be with. If only we were as smart in real life. Not only are we all too often looking for love in all the wrong places, we are also all too often acting out love in all the wrong ways. If you’re single but dating, put that boyfriend or girlfriend’s name on the line. Is he patient and kind? Is she jealous, boastful, proud and rude? Does he always demand his own way? Is she always irritable and pulling out all the mistakes you have made during every single argument? Obviously we will all fall short, but is that person even trying to live up to God’s standard of love? If not, they aren’t the one. Don’t waste your time. Get out of the relationship and run very fast in the opposite direction.
For all of us, but especially those in a married committed relationship, now put our own name on the line. Do I grieve for injustice while rejoicing in the truth? Do I easily give up and easily lose faith or am I always hopeful and willing to stick it out to the end? Basically, how loving am I? Knowing that we all fall short, how loving am I trying to be? It is a popular thing these days to say “You can’t truly love others until you learn to love yourself.” I say that’s garbage. The author of that lie is trying one more way to get people find love in the wrong place. If you want truth, flip it. “If you are unable to love others, you will never be able to love yourself.” Once we learn to truly show a Biblical love for the world around us, we will be living a lifestyle that is worth loving.
God, You have made us to love. We are not complete unless we are loving and being loved in return. But all too often, we are confusing desire with love. We are trying to find fulfillment in the wrong ways and from the wrong people. Help me to understand that it is only in You and through You that I can learn what love truly is. As I fall deeper in love with You and grasp more and more how Your love for me is, let that love spill out of me and on to everyone I meet. Help me to live love.