Love is Patient Love is Kind ~ a bit of a rant


Abusive love

Inspired by the comments in my last blog post “If love is the answer, what is love?” I had this bright idea to write a blog post about what I was raised to believe “love is” and I kept hearing  that bible verse going through my head… you know the one, “love is patient; love is kind” my kids had to memorize it in grade three I think…….. so I looked it up.

And my brain was flooded by so many abuse memories and SELF abuse memories that I felt breathless and a little sick to my stomach. Originally for this post I was going to write a list of what love is not, but it was nothing like this list at all. This verse is a foundational teaching, not just in Christian circles, but in many circles. This has been recited as poetry. This verse has been a standard guideline in the world and many don’t even realize that it has a biblical foundation. As with many other teachings, I made it MY guideline and used it to beat myself up with. It became the whip of “not good enough; no wonder I am not loved”. I am not angry with the Bible or with God. That was not the source of the deception. I am angry that I was taught this standard that NO ONE of significance in my childhood ever modeled for me and yet somehow I was supposed to grow up and “know this”. I even expected it of myself.

Here is the verse:

“1st Corinthians 13: 4-7 Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud it is not rude it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

I used to love this verse when I was in the fog of compliance and obedience. Did I ever really understand it then? I certainly never thought about it the way that I am thinking about it today.  I didn’t apply it to myself in the way that I suspect it was meant to be applied to me. Here is how I “read it” to myself back then; The translations are how I “FELT” about the definition. How it translated to me. How I used it to keep myself down, right where “they” wanted me to be.

Love is patient, love is kind: Translation: I must be patient, I must be kind. I must accept all mistreatment, disrespect and abuse and I must treat all abusers with love and kindness to prove that I am “good enough and worthy” (to be loved by THEM)

Love does not envy ~ Translation: I should be grateful just for the fact that I am allowed to take up space on this earth and NEVER wish that I had anything good that someone else might have.

Love does not boast, it is not proud~ Translation: How dare I think that I have anything to boast about. Nothing that I have comes from me, I cannot accomplish anything, I cannot have any ideas on my own, I have nothing to contribute in this world. I am hopeless.

Love is not rude~ Translation: NEVER speak up against mistreatment or in defence of myself for that would expose someone else and paint them in a bad light and no one but me is ever wrong

Love is not self seeking~ Translation: Love is not for ME. I should not seek to be loved but only to love. I can make such a great difference in someone else’s life if I love them so always try to love them with no expectations of love in return no matter HOW they treat me.

Love is not easily angered ~ Translation ~ I have no right to be angry. I deserved all the bad things that happened to me. No one is really wrong except me. Anger is a sin. Anger is wrong. Anger is NEVER justified. Something is wrong with me if I am angry and because I don’t want to accept mistreatment.

Love keeps no record of wrongs ~Translation:  Forget immediately the harm done to me by everyone else and NEVER bring it up again, never speak of it or reveal it or bring attention to it. If I ever do reveal those secrets, I am no better than the one who did it. Also see the forgiveness rant that I wrote a few weeks ago. 

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth ~ Translation: I did not really know the difference between evil and truth.  No one really taught me the truth. Many taught me evil disguised as truth.

Love always protects ~ Translation: Love protects “them”. And I should protect “them” too. Love is one sided and I should not ever expect it (or “them”) to protect me because as I said above, love is not for me.

Love always trusts ~ Translation: Trust should have its own whole blog post. I tried and tried to trust people that didn’t love me by their own definition of love!  I felt guilty because I didn’t trust.

Love always hopes: Translation. Love and hope?  I hoped that one day I would be good enough to deserve to be loved.  I hoped to be saved by prince charming.  To be honest, I am not sure about this one. I hoped for love from people who by their own actions, didn’t care about me.

Love always perseveres: Translation: Keep trying harder to be worthy of love. Keep trying even with the people that treat you like garbage. Just keep trying because then you MIGHT be worthy one day. (and think about this: who did we seek love from? Even romantic love? So often we sought love from someone who (like our abusers) was not capable or emotionally unavailable)

It never occurred to me that by this definition of love NO ONE ever loved ME nor was I ever encouraged to love myself, in fact quite the opposite. (And since today I know that unless there is self love, there is no love then not being taught the true definition of love is a problem.) What did occur to me is that I was not loving THEM and therefore proving to myself and to the world that I was not good enough, I WAS the one to blame, I was BAD.

Everyone is welcome to contribute your feelings and thoughts about this topic.

Stay tuned as I continue in my next post with how I learned to love myself by finding out the truth about how I arrived at NOT loving myself.

Bright blessings wrapped in real TRUTH

Darlene Ouimet

67 response to "Love is Patient Love is Kind ~ a bit of a rant"

  1. By: Krista Posted: 16th August

    I am recently separated due to a dysfunctional and abusive relationship. As I am finding out the hard way, as if I’m not confused enough about how I ended up here in the first place, that it is definately one of those “you stabbed me and then pretend you are the one bleeding” scenarios. I’m the bad guy? Wait a minute, how did that happen? Lbs A lot of days, I feel somewhat relieved that I’m away from the dysfunction, but I still have my bad days and the last 3 or 4 have been pretty bad. For some reason the phrase “love is patient, love is kind” popped into my head earlier, so I looked it up and ran across your page. I just wanted to say thank you because your explanation of the phrase “love is patient love is kind” pretty much summed up ho

  2. By: OwlJulie Posted: 19th November

    I was always taken aback by the first commandment of the Jewish God: LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, and the second commandment :Love your neighbor as yourself.
    What does ‘As yourself’ mean? That was m question as I was growing up a Catholic school girl.
    Then, when I was reading some self help books in college, I wondered: “Shouldnt the first commandment be to love myself, then love others?” because the theory goes that you need to love yourself before you can love others, right? So didnt the commandments and Jesus leave something out?- That is, to love yourself?
    And that is what bothered me about my religion and caused me to search for a different religion. And that is why I have turned to the Buddhist philosophy.

  3. By: Elizabeth Posted: 23rd November

    Dear Pam,

    I can’t believe you let this go on as long as you did either. Just as I can’t believe I put up with the crap I did from my “family”. But I think you are on the right track. If you have figured out how not to give a shit please let me know. I still cry over things I have no control over. But I applaud you for having your guts.


  4. By: Pam Posted: 22nd November

    Wow….so I am not the only one that has problems with this. I guess that maybe that’s where I got off track because the God I was taught about was a mean, demanding God that would accept only total obedience. Just like my mom. And if I offended him, I was shunned…just like my mom shunned me whenever I violated one of her commandments. To this day my mother will use her religion to tell me what an evil, mean person I am. How she is on her knees every night praying for my soul. Last time I ever talked to her I told her my soul was fine however, she really needed to worry about her own. I told her that if God and heaven existed as she believed that one day she will have to explain all of her abuse to the big man upstairs. As for me…all I have to explain is why I let it continue as long as I did.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd November

      Hi Pam
      yes, that is how it is taught so much of the time. (and who would really want to ‘worship’ or trust a god like that? and the truth is that our parents are god in our lives and what ever they demand is what we believe.)
      I love to turn the tables on these people with their false teachings ~ imagine them thinking that ‘they’ were safe from the hell fire they preached at us!! ha
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Colleen Posted: 22nd November

    What an extraordinary, beautiful post for Thanksgiving! I am giving thanks that you are there, explaining things so well and in a context that I grew up with, particularly in Bible quotes. This is a brilliant example of how I was taught to interpret and to submit.
    Thank you so much for what you’re doing with this blog, you are helping so many.
    Much love today and always,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd November

      Hi Colleen
      Welcome to EFB!
      Thanks for your comments! I found that realizing the HOW I was taught these false meanings of relationships and how they worked went MILES towards helping me draw my boundaries!
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Elizabeth Posted: 21st November

    Wow! This post is the story of my life with my “family”. It took so many years for me to figure out what abuse was and how to have a good self esteem. I earneed mine the old fashioned way. By hard work and perseverence. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and the first Thanksgiving that I will spend away from my parents and imediate family. I found out that I was “not invited” to the family Thanksgiving, however I wasn’t planning on going anyway. Still it just makes my own realizations and observations more vivid. Although my Dad has never known that I exist, I cried today because deep down I thought he would call me and try to make things right. I believed that he meant well. Please say a prayer for me. I will spend a quiet Thanksgiving with my husband and my 16 year old son. My older son is in the army so it’s just us. It hurts to keep being rejected when all I ever did was GIVE. The more you give the more people treat you like garbage.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd November

      Hi Elizabeth
      The disapointment that I felt when I realized my family was just going to let our relationship go was a whole other kind of pain; I know what you mean. Even though I had made up my mind and I was solid in the decision that I was no longer going to accept being treated like that, I was still shocked that they didn’t really care and that my own mother would rather walk away from the relationship then TRY to make things right. But that pain eventually led me to see the truth and it helps me even today to see what it was like back then and what it is like now. I am not missing anything. The fact that she wouldn’t even try speaks volumes about her beliefs (that I am the problem and that it is up to me to fix this and to respect her on the one way street) and how they are not going to change. Having said that, the process of acceptance of this reality and the process of grieving and pain is very painful.
      hugs and love, Darlene

  7. By: Suzanne Posted: 21st November

    Darlene! This post is so flip’n awesome! Amazing to me that those who survived abuse and dysfunction could see love any other way! I too shared your very same perceptions… I believe many of us did. It was the accepted way of life. To dare dispute it would make me an instant evil enemy. God forbid I had an actual opinion!
    Through my recovery work, I HAVE discovered I matter… But I had to matter to me first.
    Applying these famous words of wisdom today it would look like this.
    • Love is patient, ~ I practice being patient
    • Love is kind, ~ I am kind
    • Love does not envy, ~ I am not jealous
    • Love does not boast,~ I do not serve my pride
    • Love is not proud,~ I do not serve my ego
    • Love is not rude,~ I treat others as I want to be treated
    • Love is not self seeking,~ I am concerned about others
    • Love is not easily angered,~ I get angry, I do not react to the feeling of anger
    • Love keeps no record of wrongs~, I forgive and not hold it against you. But I am wise enough to have learned my lesson from broken trust.
    • Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.~ I do not use manipulation, lies, or gossip to cause harm, rather I practice radical honesty with myself. I can stand in my own truth.
    • Love always protects,~ I am responsible to protect my mind, my heart, my emotions, and my spirit… me, I am responsible to protect me.
    • Love always trusts,~ I trust my intuition, my feelings, my instinct I place my trust in those who have earned it. It’s not a free gift.
    • Love always hopes,~ I look at life through a positive lens and the possibilities I have before me.
    • Love always perseveres,~ I am determined, strong, and have overcome enough evil in my lifetime to continue moving forward and carry a message of hope.

    Thank for for sharing your healing with the world!
    ((Hugs)) Suzanne

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd November

      Hi Suzanne
      This is awesome! Thanks for sharing this. I love it!!!
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Kelly Posted: 15th September

    Oh my goodness, you just described exactly what I thought! Darlene thank you so much, you have such wonderful insite. Wow your comments sure have shed a new light on things for me.
    The funniest thing is that I did not know I felt that way until you spoke of it, makes me wonder what else lurks deep down.
    The truth really is setting me free, you have no idea how much you have helped me Darlene, thank you so much for being you! God bless you.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th September

      Hi Kelly
      I didn’t know that I felt that way either.. this whole process has been about huge discoveries about how I really feel! And yes, that IS the truth that set me free too. And believe it or not I struggle to communicate it knowing that so many others also don’t even know they feel this way so I spend a lot of time thinking about how to write in a way that ‘breaks through’ that barrier we don’t even know is there! So, I really appreciate your feedback on this today.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Teresa Posted: 29th July

    Thanks for sharing this:
    “Love keeps no record of wrongs ~Translation: Forget immediately the harm done to me by everyone else and NEVER bring it up again, never speak of it or reveal it or bring attention to it. If I ever do reveal those secrets, I am no better than the one who did it.”

    Also, because they “forgave” and asked for “forgiveness” it should be TOTALLY forgotten.

    However, the mind is a powerful force – I cannot forget!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th July

      Hi Teresa
      EXACTLY! I love your translation!
      And I don’t want to forget; everytime I tried to just forget, I would get abused again. It was like “forgetting” was giving permission or agreement that I accepted the harm done. Remembering is part of the way I protect myself today. And usually anyone who asked for forgiveness in my life was actually just manipulating me even more. We are not talking about bringing up the time I put the wrong colour shirt in the wash here! I could ask somoene to “forget” about that. The subjects we are talking about are all serious stuff.
      Today I put all my memories to very good use. The resentment, anger and pain is gone so I think “forgiveness” was a part of the process but first I had to hounour myself, my pain and validate the damage that was done in the first place.
      Thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Rose Posted: 6th July

    Ugh. I know I’m commenting on an old post but I feel that it’s important to make a small point with this scripture. Like another post says, ‘God IS Love’ and it is more a description than a guideline on how to behave.

    About envy, pride and boasting: love does not envy, is not prideful or boastful because those emotions all imply that either you or someone else can not have what another has. And as we know from the Bible, it is God’s pleasure to give you the kingdom. It is like putting limits on God, and God is limitless. God is all powerful, He can do anything. So when we envy another person something, we are saying that what one of His creations is capable of deserving, another is not. Since we are OF God and created in His image, we are also putting limits on ourselves which is just downright silly.

    I used to really resent that scripture because it was taught to me the same way you interpreted it as a child, Darlene. I felt that I wasn’t even good enough for God to love, because He’d stuck me with such a horrible family to be tormented for years. What I didn’t realize until later was that by convincing myself of this, I’d cut myself off from Him and no amount of signs to the contrary would help until I started to BELIEVE that He was love, and I am/was of God. Of course he loved me, I just couldn’t see or feel it because I didn’t believe it.

    I don’t blame myself for what my abusers did to me, but I accept responsibility for not using my God-given free will to change my circumstances. I know that I allowed it to continue for years after I learned it was wrong. Now I feel blessed that I can view my experiences from a loving perspective, I see it as a cycle that I’ve broken and I’m able to enjoy a life free of false guilt and full of happiness.

  11. By: Marianne Posted: 23rd April

    Oh wow, just read this after reading your forgiveness post! This is another one of the bible verses my parents threw at me when I had the audacity to raise the truth. Thank you.

  12. By: Chris Posted: 23rd November

    Darlene and Michelle,

    Your comments are “spot on”! People tend to use the Bible to prove their point where family and love (and other things) are concerned. Love cannot be proven…only demonstrated. In my belief, Jesus Christ is God’s perfect expression of love toward mankind or humanity.

  13. By: Jim Posted: 22nd November

    Just a question ? I have just found out about this site. Everything that I have read so far mirrors my life exactly ! I was sexually abused in a very angry and traumatic way, and no one has ever taken it seriously in my family. Denial. I am 53 yrs old and thought there was never any hope that there could be some healing from these kind of wounds. I feel like I have been walking and living in a black hole my entire life, just trying to please others and find out who I am. Well this year I finally got fed up with pleasing others and have started to speak up a little bit.It has not been easy but it is like growing some wings. Survival. My question is this. If one has never been taught how to love, or was not felt loved, then how do you love yourself , so that you can sincerely love others ? I am sure this has been answered , but I am just talking now. I have never talked about the abuse or how it has caused my life to be hell for so very long. Just trying to find out who I am. Must be DID.


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd November

      . Hi Jim,
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I am currently writing a new post that addresses this very question! (should be published this week) It is a process, not a simple or magic fix but a real process of digging deep down into the foundation, realizing what was right and what was wrong, and validating ourselves for the things that happened to us that we were not validated for in the first place. (Well that is part of it anyway)
      Talking about the abuse is the first step. Talking about it, connecting to it, really knowing that it happened to you, that it was wrong, that it was life changing, that you were blameless, all those things were so life changing for me. Read the next few post after this one, (there is kind of a love series going on here, and read the comments too) and give yourself time. Share often; that is a great healing thing too. And just keep seeking. I also recovered from DID. That is also possible when we embrace the truth of the past.
      Great to have you here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: pattygalloway Posted: 22nd November

    Hey Darlene…I pretty much can identify w/every translation…what is weird is that my sick sense of humor was popping up while reading it…I found myself laughing but realizing just how sickening and true these translations are to me and my beleifs…You can almost see how unnoticeable we are in every translation but that the abusers get all the love/light…while we stay in the dark…not worthy of nothing…I’m going to post each translation on my walls ea. day to see what kinda response I get from them….thankyou, for all your work Darlene…I truly get so much from you, 😉

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd November

      I know! I had that same exp. I would fight my therapist on some point, saying that I didn’t follow that or believe that… (whatever it was) and then realize that in reality it RAN my life! But that fog I lived in was the fog that kept me safe. (or so I thought, and maybe it did when I was a child, but as an adult I needed to get the heck OUT of it in order to live. ) Hugs Patty!

  15. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd November

    Hi Michelle,
    My mother had no concept of love either. I like what someone said in the comments on this post about This bible verse being a description of God’s love for us. We can strive for that kind of love, a love that is best for all. In dysfunctional family life, love is all messed up and has all kinds of obedience and compliance mixed in with it. With my mom it was as thought the compliance was the proof that I loved her. That isn’t love either.
    Glad that you are here.
    Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: michelle Posted: 21st November

    my mum used to tell me she loved us so much that it hurt. i dont know why she said that. even then, as a child, i used to think ‘but how can love hurt?’ i never understood that. now i realise she had no concept of love. she thought she did, however the evidence clearly proves otherwise.
    the bibles definition of love is spot on, in my opinion.

  17. By: Samuel Hairston Posted: 21st November

    OOPs I put my rant and rave under Nov 16 and I meant to under Nov 18 …so here it is again with slight modifications.

    I am going to expose deeply felt convictions that immediately surfaced when reading the excellent points brought up by Darlene Ouimet. The two articles from Nov 16 and 18 we should think about deeply so to defeat false beliefs. This may not be the appropriate forum for what I am going to write, but she hit a nerve and this is I what is coming out… “..

    This is a great example of the fact, that for well meaning people who trust scripture, scripture is the tool Satan will use for them to have dumb, idiotic, and evil ideas which can lead to dumb, idiotic, and evil actions towards themselves and others. (Personally, I have had and will have false beliefs, unwarranted feelings, and unwarranted emotions. I hope many are defeated by Truth)

    Check out the temptations of Jesus and read what Satan used there…Scripture. Don’t you think Satan was pulling out his most powerful weapons on Jesus? I do. Matthew 4

    This is also an example of letting scripture help us in understanding other scripture. Check out Jesus responding to entrenched evil in the temple. Jesus was angry and he went after them! He drove them out with a whip! This does not look like image painted in I Corinthians 13, hence I Corinthians 13 it is not a complete picture of how to be in all situations with all people.

    Remark: I have not done this, but I have just had a thought to throw out there. We should teach children (or anyone) this. If we see that we are in an abusive environment where there is a power differential real or even perceived and/or to personally fight back is not wise and will just cause more harm to themselve then flee! Find a safe place! Then get as many powerful people as you can, to go after that (you can fill in your own blank.) Tell more than the police. Tell everyone that has power and is for you. Entrenched evil must be driven out. Power is necessary.

    Back to main idea: WE can also see from the article that scripture must be interpreted in context. Paul was writing about motivation and was giving a picture of Christian ministry in the body of Christ.(Even in that we cannot assume it is complete.) We can respond and be like this to brothers and sisters in Christ who sin and fall short even as we sin and fall short of perfection in our thoughts and behaviors. Read I Corinthians 12

    Remark: The scripture is also clear that if a fellow Christian sins against you in a way that keeps bugging you, you need to go to them and clear the air and work it out. Living in grace does not mean extending cheap forgiving grace. Loving confrontation, confession, and forgiveness is appropriate. The general teaching on “just forgive because Jesus forgive you …is not complete and often taken in a doormat sense. Study the life of Jesus. He was not a doormat!

    Bad teaching and even “this is what yo ought to do” focused teaching at “church” is a source of many problems and heart ache. Children have no resources to fight the bad teaching. It is my opinion that if you go to a church with gross amounts of bad teaching, leave. If you are a teacher take the job seriously. Work with the scripture rigorously and carefully. You should have a little fear about teaching. It will energize you to do good work.

    I think a person is better off in no church than a bad church. Find a Church that always goes back to Jesus and what He did on the cross for us. There was only one triumphant Christian, Jesus. He and what He did for us should be the focus.

    God is Love, but he also Holy and Just, and will pour out anger, wrath and judgment against sin and sinful people, evil and evil people. You can rest assured that in the end, if these sinful evil people do not repent and trust Jesus to save them, God will get them. God will pour wrath and judgment on sin. Hell is well… hell.

    This is the reason for the cross. For those trusting in Jesus the wrath reserved for them, (the wrath of God against me), was poured out on Jesus and Jesus’ perfection given to them. It was a gift. Thankfulness and a thankful life is the appropriate response.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st November

      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      I am going to post a response to your comment, but meanwhile maybe you would like to read the next post in this “love series”. In this blog I try to explain some of the reasons that we are so stuck with all of this and how much it takes to undo the brainwashing by exposing the roots of the brainwashing ~ the depth of the brainwashing, and as you can imagine, (from what I gather from what you have just shared) this is no small task. It takes a LOT of time and my little blog posts are really just little snapshots ~ as I try to punch little holes in the fog that we have been trapped in for so long.
      I appreciate your comments and I am happy to have you here,
      Hugs, Darlene

      Here is the link to the followup post everyone! ~ From self blame to Self Love ~ Finding my Value

  18. By: Fi MacLeod exNicholson Posted: 21st November

    This is an absolutely phenomenal post, it truly is, I can relate to pretty much all of it.

    I find it impossible to put into words what I feel and think each time I read this and I’ve read it many times since it was published. It’s like you describe my own thought processes/reactions, and that’s just a little spooky!!

    Anyway, I mentioned this post on my blog and put a link to it because it impacted me so much.

    Blessings Darlene, keep writing and keep telling the TRUTH as it is, as it REALLY IS!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st November

      Hi Fi,
      Thanks for this note of encouragement! It is great to be understood. I have a leftover from the past about not being understood ~ it still bothers me when I am misunderstood, because I always was! (because I was not really ever right back then) So even someone saying that they “get it” that they can relate to what I write, is awesome.

      Thanks for being here! Hugs, Darlene
      p.s. If anyone would like to read Fi’s wonderful blog, just click on her name in the comment from her and you will be transported to her writing.

  19. By: Chris Posted: 20th November


    I understand what you are saying. I thought that “love” had falied and rejected me too. I thought, all of my life, that God hated me. I never thought that God could love me, for how could he if I wasn’t thought well of by members of my own family? We are abused by those closest to us. By those who have access to us. I can’t speak for God. I don’t know why evil, for whatever reason, seeks us out, but it does. All that I do know is that as for me, my belief that what i was living through and with in my heart wasn’t the Lord’s will for my life. I knew and know now, that the Enemy wants to destroy us. And just as much as I know these things, I also have come to know that God seeks the best for all of us. He does (Agape)love us for real. The “love” that you and I were shown isn’t God’s love. It can’t be, for if that were true there would be no point in living this life. Evil perverts the things of God. Just as we suffered from the hands of perverted men and women.

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