One of the Bible Studies I have been working through over the last several months is Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. Right before I misplaced the book (this weekend while cleaning and unpacking) there was a section that really challenged me that I wanted to share.
The context is Agape Love and 1 Corinthians 13. I’ve heard this scripture read so many times in my life, and it has challenged me in my human relationships (phileos and eros and storge) but it never struck me to read this in the context of Agape Love. Beth challenges us to read it aloud replacing the word “love” with “agape,” and in doing so I was particularly challenged by verse 7.
Agape always protects…always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The greek word for protects is stego and translated it means: “to cover in silence.”
When it comes to my friendships, I can honestly say that what is shared with me stays with me. I have had friends share the deepest corners of their hearts with me. They have shared their weaknesses and transgressions, and my strongest internal values tell me never to speak of those words that were trusted to me other than in a personal prayer between me and God.
But when it comes to my family, especially my girls, it is way to easy for me share my concerns with others. Maybe it is a frustration with grades or organization issues or just general disagreements. If someone asks, I am way to willing to share my frustrations about our family weaknesses. When it comes to my family, I need to do a lot more “covering in silence.”
We all mess up in life, but one of the most painful experiences in life can be knowing that your weaknesses and transgressions are the subject of the discussion of others.
I also love how this verse ends…Agape always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Those last three characteristics are so much easier when you know that love is protected. That our deepest secrets, daily struggles and our past transgressions are “covered in silence” by those who care for us most.