Doug Johnson: Patient and kind, true love is always worth wating for

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 11, 2024

February is the month when our hearts turn to the subject of love. 

The Bible defines true love for us in 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient and kind.” 

True love is what you want to build your relationships on. 

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Yet the message of Hollywood and many in our society today seems to focus mainly on lust and impatience. 

Their philosophy is: “Why wait? If it feels good — do it.”

Several years ago, Priscilla (not her real name) went to her 13-year-old son’s school for a meeting to preview a new course on sexuality. 

Parents could examine the curriculum and take part in an actual lesson presented exactly as it would be given to the students.

Arriving at the school, Priscilla was surprised to discover only about a dozen parents gathered for the presentation. 

She picked up a teacher guide and thumbed through page after page of instructions in the prevention of pregnancy and disease. 

Abstinence was mentioned only in passing.

When the teacher arrived with the school nurse, she asked if there were any questions. 

Priscilla asked why abstinence did not play a noticeable part in the material. 

The other parents began to laugh and someone suggested that if she thought abstinence had any merit, she should go back to burying her head in the sand. Priscilla sat there drowning in a sea of embarrassment. 

The teacher explained that the job of the school was to teach facts; the home was responsible for moral training. 

Twenty minutes into the presentation, the teacher took a break. 

“There are donuts in the back,” she announced. 

“I’d like you to put on the name tags we’ve prepared—they’re right by the donuts—and mingle with the other parents.” 

While everyone moved to the back of the room, Priscilla sat in deep thought. 

She was ashamed that she had not been able to convince them to include a serious discussion of abstinence in the materials.

She uttered a silent prayer for guidance. 

Her thoughts were interrupted by the teacher’s hand on her shoulder. 

“Won’t you join the others for a donut?”

“No, thank you,” Priscilla replied.

“Well then, how about a name tag? I’m sure the others would like to meet you.”

“Somehow I doubt that,” she replied.

The teacher called the class back to order, thanked everyone for putting on the name tags, and ignored Priscilla. 

“Now I’m going to give you the same lesson we’ll be giving your children,” she began. 

“Everyone, please peel off your name tags.

On the back of one of the tags, I drew a tiny flower. Who has it?”

A gentleman in the back held it up. 

“Here it is!”

“All right,” she said. 

“The flower represents disease. 

Do you recall with whom you shook hands?” 

He pointed to a couple of people. 

“The handshake in this case represents intimacy. 

So, the two people you had contact with now have the disease. 

And with whom did the two of you shake hands?” 

She had made her point. 

“This demonstrates for students how quickly sexual diseases are spread. 

Since we all shook hands, we all have the disease.”

Priscilla rose from her chair and quickly apologized for any disturbance she may have caused earlier. 

She congratulated the teacher on an excellent lesson and said she had only one small point to make: “Not all of us were infected. 

One of us… abstained.”

True love is patient and it’s always worth the wait!

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.