Like many people, I enjoy the Google homepage artwork that appears on special days and holidays. Last Valentine’s Day, the artistic logo showed an older couple—a man with a cane and a white-haired woman—walking hand in hand as the woman held two heart-shaped balloons. It was a beautiful reminder that while our culture glorifies youthful romance, true love has many stages during our journey through life.

Paul’s great essay in 1 Corinthians 13 celebrates the depth and tenacity of the love that carries us beyond self-interest and mere affection. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (vv.4-8).

Brian Wren has captured this reality in his moving hymn, “When Love Is Found”:

When love is tried as loved ones change,
Hold still to hope though all seems strange,
Till ease returns, and love grows wise
Through listening ears and opened eyes.
© Hope Publishing Co.

When our commitments are tested in the fires of life, no matter what difficulties we face, may God grant us a greater experience of His enduring love and the grace to demonstrate it each day.