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Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 4

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 4

True Love is not on Parade!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “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” NKJV

Have you ever seen a couple being overly affectionate in public?  What do you think?  “How sweet!” or “That’s disgusting.”  Margaret told one couple “You need to either stop that, or go get yourself a room.”  That kind of display is always a matter of: defiance, ignorance, impulsive or immature infatuation.  It is not a display of love. 

The Greek word for ‘parade” is Perperos.  The KJV reads “vaunteth not itself” Other versions, “boast” or “brag.”  The versions that have “boast” or “brag” are not strong enough, unless you understand bragging to include the body language, as well as talk.  Usually when we think of bragging it’s just a manner of speech but Perperos includes the whole behavior.  The manners as well as the speech.  The body language.  This is the only verse in the Bible where this word is used.  In all other references where boasting is used, the Greek word is kauchaomai, and it refers to speech.  So, by using perperos, Paul clearly had something more than just speech in mind.  The root word from which Perperos comes is Peran=to cross the line of common decency or civility.  To go too far.  Ostentatious (a pretentious or excessive display.)

 As a matter of speech, this would mean: bragging to the point of embarrassment but, as a matter of action, it would mean: to show off or, an embarrassing display.  A shameful parade. Cicero, the Roman statesman, used it in a letter to Atticus.  “Good Heavens!  How I did show off (perperos) in front of General Pompeii.” 

I think a good working definition would be any of the following:

1.      True love doesn’t show off at another’s expense

2.      True love doesn’t embarrass others. (or shame)

3.      True love doesn’t treat others like a trophy or a conquest. 

This crosses the line of Christian civility.  It embarrasses instead of enriches.  IT goes too far, and as such deserves a stern rebuke. 

"...and when I go out with you, Don't put me on display!"


  1. Look the other way.

  2. I do try and look the other way if a couple is being gross but the point is that what they are trying to portray as passion actually only displays what they are lacking in genuine affection.

  3. That is your interpretation of what you are seeing. Who are you, or anyone else, to judge what is true affection between two other people?

  4. If it's true affection, it will last. A lot of young couples are all over each other in the beginning of the relationship and they show their immaturity when they make a public specticle of themselves but I'm not saying their feelings aren't real. My brother and his wife were like that (he'll kill me if he reads this, lol) and I remember how he'd get mad at me for watching them kiss...guess I should have looked the other way, right? ;)