Minister’s Message: Choose to love for a better world

Love is hard

By Rev. Karen Martin Tichenor

Do you think loving someone is simple and easy?

The way we use the word love suggests most of us think that way. But that is so far from the truth! Love is hard. Because love requires patience, endurance, a self control over one’s angers, fears, frustrations. It requires compassion, kindness and respect for the ones you love. Love does no harm to the other. It does not envy, or boast, it isn’t proud. It keeps no record of wrongs, as the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 says from the Christian Bible.

So take a look at all of your loving relationships. Maybe look at the one you hold most dear. How is your “loving” that person being expressed?

Are you kind and patient or do you shout at them in frustration for not understanding you the first time around?

Are you having an affair? That is in no way a loving thing to do to anyone, including the one you are having an affair with. You are there because something has slipped or changed in your marriage or committed relationship with your partner and instead of doing the work with your partner in love, you went somewhere else to get your ego soothed.

That isn’t love. That is an empty soul no better than a clanging cymbal or loud bell.

To be in relationship, a loving relationship, we are best off if we start with Love, Godself. That is what our faith and scriptures tell us, God is love. In being in relationship with God, we open ourselves to being loved by God. It is that love that heals, encourages, emboldens, strengthens us to resist those behaviors that will tear ourselves or another down.

Love in faith is not empty. Far from it. Love in its truest form is full and complete. It allows us to own when something is wrong in our relationship with others and empowers us to work with them on setting it right. Without violence or manipulation. Without fear or insecurity taking over.

In God’s love we find the courage to see what is really going on in ourselves, name it and do what we can in kindness and patience, to heal the rift or alter the course that the relationship had taken which wasn’t based on enduring love.

Love is not an emotion, it is a way of being, a truth, a spark of God that is in each of us. We were created by and in that love by the ultimate lover of our souls.

So as we live forward, let’s agree to take the better path, one of loving our neighbor as ourselves, as we are loved by our God, and turn our relationships and the world into a gentler, kinder place that is safe for all to be who they were meant to be, beloved of God.

Rev. Karen Martin Tichenor is pastor of Soldotna United Methodist Church, 158 S. Binkley St., Soldotna, 907-262-4657, Sunday Worship at 10 a.m., Soldotna Food Pantry Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: This and that

Organizations are running out of people to keep them going

This Al Hershberger photo of his good friend Hedley Parsons was taken in Germany in 1945, after World War II had ended. Parsons and Hershberger came to Alaska together a few years later, and in 2010, when Parsons was interviewed for this story, he may have been the last person living who had actually attended George Dudley’s messy funeral
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 2

The funeral was scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 5, and spring break-up was in full, sloppy bloom at the Kenai Cemetery

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
A copy of “People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska” stands in sunlight in Soldotna on Friday.
Off the Shelf: Community history project a colorful portrait of hometown

The book features the work of students at Moose Pass School and integrates further stories pulled from a community newspaper

The Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra performs. (Photo courtesy Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra)
Anchorage orchestra group to visit Kenai Peninsula for 10th annual tour

Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra will play four shows from May 30 to June 2

Minister’s Message: Boasting only in Christ and the Cross

The Reverend Billy Graham advised every president since Truman during his lifetime

Corn cheese is served alongside grilled beef, kimchi and lettuce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Planning barbecue with all the bells and whistles

Expect kimchi, lots of side dishes, piles of rice, marinated meat for the flame and cold fruit for dessert

Noa (voiced by Owen Teague) in 20th Century Studios’ “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.” (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)
On the Screen: New ‘Planet of the Apes’ expands, brings new ideas to franchise universe

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” tells a story that feels more rooted in fantasy than the post-apocalypse vibe of its predecessors

A mural depicting imagery and iconography of Kenai brightens the entryway of the Walmart in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Visible art raises people’s spirits’

Local artist’s mural introduced as part of Walmart renovations

Former North Kenai resident George Coe Dudley, seen here during the winter of 1950-51, was a hard-drinking man. His messy funeral in 1967 in Kenai echoed his lifestyle. (Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger)
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 1

“Dudley was an easy-going, laid-back sort of guy, always laughing and joking, as well as hard drinking.”

Most Read