By Ann Robson

I watched an elderly couple leave a grocery store, walk together to their car, load the groceries in the trunk and then she returned the cart to its place as he warmed up the car.

“That is real love,” I thought to myself.

These two people slowly moved in such a way that I knew they had been together for a long time. They had a gentle way about them as they did their chores.

I have always loved the Bible verse from John to the Corinthians, verse 14, “Love is kind….” It has seen many revisions over the years, but the one I like best is the English Standard Version. That couple made me think of the biblical verse.  With Valentine’s Day on the horizon which includes all the hoopla about champagne dinners, dozens of roses, pounds of exotic chocolate, and tons of greeting cards, it seems that the biblical verse says a lot more about love.

“Love is patient and kind”: When you and a loved one are having a difference of opinion, take a few moments to ask yourself about the situation at hand. Is it serious enough to matter in five minutes, or in an hour, or the next day? Usually, it isn’t, so the kind thing to do is to tone down the rhetoric and bring yourselves to common ground.

“Love does not envy or boast”: Each of us has special talents unique to us. That is likely what attracted us to another. Why would we then be envious of each other or boast that you are the better person?

“It is not arrogant or rude”: There will always be unpleasant moments in life — a slip of the tongue, a misspoken word, an overlooked pleasantry — no need to make things worse by your reaction to another’s folly.

“It is not insisting on its own way”: We all know people who not only like their own way, they demand it. That is definitely not love for any but oneself.

“It is not irritable or resentful”: This is a little harder for most of us. Irritability can rear its ugly head at strange times in strange ways. It can cause resentment of things done in a cranky state. An occasional spat is one thing. Continuing discontent and complaining are quite different.

“It does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth”: Sometimes we get carried away and may gloat over the misfortunes of another when truth is what we should seek and broadcast.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.” Watching a person thrust into the caregiver role is the epitome of this part of the verse. Some may endure because of habit but most will be there through thick and thin because of a lifetime of love.

Now that’s the kind of love for all of us and not just on Feb. 14. Sure, flowers and chocolates are fine treats to be enjoyed. Yet they are short-term. Why not live with  the long-term in mind? “Love is patient and kind.”