“Love is Patient Love is Kind” Bible Quote Explained

“Love is patient love is kind” is a Bible quote from 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV).

In this eBibleguide, Victor examines this Bible quote – the quote context, important facts about the quote, life lessons and Bible cross references.

Quote and Verse Context

"Love is Patient Love is Kind" Bible Quote Explained - Quote and Verse in Context

To have a better understanding of “Love is patient love is kind” Bible quote, I will start by quoting relevant verses before and after the Bible verse with this quote. Before that, let’s examine the background of the Bible quote.  

The Background of the Bible Quote

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul taught about the diversity of the Church. He said that though the Church is one body, we have a diversity of gifts that makes the church complete. (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Then from verse 28, Paul mentioned the different gifts that God has placed in the Church. In verse 31, he encourages every Christian to desire these gifts. However, in the later part of verse 31, he said that there is “a more excellent way”. 

Furthermore, from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Paul said that each of the gifts mentioned in chapter 12 are of little benefit without love. Then from chapter 13, verse 4, he started explaining what love is – starting with our focus Bible quote – “Love is patient love is kind”.

Relevant Bible Verses Before 1 Corinthians 13:4

Here are the relevant verses before 1 Corinthians 13:14 – “Love is patient love is kind”:

1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (NIV)
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

Other relevant Bible verses before “Love is patient love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:14) Bible quote are:

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Then, our focus Bible quote:

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Relevant Bible Verses After 1 Corinthians 13:4

1 Corinthians 13:5-8 (NIV)
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Important Facts About 1 Corinthians 13:4

"Love is Patient Love is Kind" Bible Quote Explained - Important Facts About 1 Corinthians 13:4

Based on the focus Bible quote for this article – “Love is patient love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:14) – and other referenced Bible verses, here are some important facts about these verses:

  1. The gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28 – apostles, prophets, teachers and more – are important to the church. However, without love, these gifts are useless (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
  2. We are encouraged to desire these gifts so as to use them to serve the greater good of the church. However, love is more important than any of these gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31)
  3. According to the Bible, here are the true definitions of love (scriptures from NLT):
  • Love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4)
  • Love is not jealous or boastful or proud (verse 4)
  • It is not rude and it does not demand its own way (1 Corinthians 13:5)
  • Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged (verse 5)
  • Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out (1 Corinthians 13:6)
  • It never gives up (1 Corinthians 13:7)
  • Love never loses faith (verse 7)
  • It is always hopeful (verse 7)
  • Love endures through every circumstance (verse 7)

Life Lessons from 1 Corinthians 13:4

"Love is Patient Love is Kind" Bible Quote Explained - Life Lessons from 1 Corinthians 13:4

Having quoted the relevant verses before and after “Love is patient love is kind” – and the key facts from this Bible quote, here are the life lessons we can learn from this Bible Quote:

Are You Patient and Kind?

According to 1 Corinthians 13:4, patience and kindness are the first 2 qualities that help us measure how much we show love.

Patience is the capacity to bear misfortune, pain, provocation, or annoyance without complaint, loss of temper or get irritated. For a full definition visit this link patience definition by Dictionary.com.

If we combine the Bible definition of love with the definition of patience above, we can then say that love is the capacity to hold back when you are provoked, in pain or face misfortune. Most people think that love is a feeling. The Bible disagrees. Love is a set of intentional actions and reactions to people and situations.

These qualities all sound good. However, you do not acquire any of them overnight. The ability to bear provocation takes learning and time. One way to start is to learn to restrain yourself. Stop your first impulsive reaction to people’s actions and to situations. Give yourself 20 seconds or more before you respond to people or situations.

Another way to learn patience is to plan your reactions ahead. If you are always triggered by a particular situation, plan how you will respond next time it happens. Because you have planned your response, it becomes easier to respond instead of react.

Another Bible definition of love is kindness – the state or quality of being kind. To be kind means to be considerate, indulgent, or helpful.

Once again, if we combine the Bible definition of love with the definition of kindness, we can define love as the ability to indulge others. Love also means the capacity to be considerate and helpful.

Finally, for this section, if “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4), it means that love is the capacity to show restraint when provoked, in pain or face misfortune. Love also means being considerate and helpful to others.

Here are some Bible verses that will help you understand patience and kindness further – Colossians 3:12–13, Galatians 6:9, Proverbs 15:18.

Jealousy and Pride are the Enemies of Love

Another way to measure how much you show love is to measure to what degree you are jealous, boastful or proud. These three behaviors, as far as the Bible is concerned, do not demonstrate love.

Jealousy is a feeling of resentment towards someone because they are better than you or have some advantage over you. On the other hand, boasting is to speak with excessive pride and exaggeration, especially about oneself.

Some of opposite words for jealousy are unenvious, supportive, compersion. Compersion means a state of empathy where one is genuinely happy because another individual experiences joy and happiness. Sound like love to you? It sure does!

However, some opposite words for boastful are humble, modest. Humility is not having or showing any feelings of superiority.

If you have the urge to be jealous or boastful, what may be driving this urge? Research show that one of the things that may drive these behaviors is low self esteem. Most times, being jealous is about you, not necessarily about the next person. This also applies to pride and being boastful.

We all have some form of vulnerabilities. The first step is to acknowledge your weakness. Find out what makes you think or believe that you are less than the next person? If you can find the answer to this, it will be the beginning of your healing. If the feeling is severe, it may be a good idea to see a counselor.

If you are a follower of Christ, the Bible (God’s word) will help you understand who you are in Christ. This understanding may help improve your self-esteem. When you feel better about yourself, it becomes easy to love others. You can read our article on Bible Verses about Gods Love.

Here are some Bible verses that will help you deal with jealousy and pride: Proverbs 14:30, Romans 12:21, Job 5:2.

The second lesson we can learn from “Love is patient love is kind” Bible quote is that jealousy and pride will reduce your ability to love others.

Dealing with Irritability and Unforgiveness

The other two behaviors that limit our ability to love is being irritable and keeping a record or wrong. Just like other life vices, we all have some element of irritability and inability to forgive. However, the degrees of these vices will differ from one individual to the other.

Being irritable means the tendency to be easily annoyed. In the last paragraph, I stated that we all have some degrees of these vices. Most of us will demonstrate some level of annoyance. However, some other people get easily annoyed. People that are irritable are difficult to relate with. They also find it difficult to tolerate others – tolerance is one of the ways to demonstrate love.

Another behavior that diminishes our ability to love is “keeping a record of wrong”. In other words, not able to easily forgive others. If you are constantly hurting by what others have done to you, you are not hurting them, but yourself.

One way to begin to learn forgiveness is to remember that God forgave you your sins without you deserving His forgiveness (Romans 5:8). Another way to deal with feeling of hurt is to stop recording the wrongs of others – not on your head and definitely, not on a diary! Learn to let go. However, if you are struggling with irritability and unforgiveness, you may want to consider talking to a counselor.

“Love is patient love is kind” Bible quote also teaches us that irritability and unforgiveness limit our ability to love.

Never Give Up or Lose Faith, Be Hopeful

Finally, to show love, do not give up or lose faith on people or tough situations. Also, be hopeful that things will improve – both for you and others around you. Moreover, learn to endure all circumstances. Easier said than done but it is possible!

Bible Cross References

  1. 1 Corinthians 12:27
  2. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
  3. 1 Corinthians 12:31
  4. Colossians 3:12–13
  5. Galatians 6:9
  6. Proverbs 15:18
  7. Proverbs 14:30
  8. Romans 12:21
  9. Job 5:2

I hope you found the study of “Love is patient love is kind” Bible quote helpful? Kindly share your views using the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page. You may also share your life experiences that will help other readers.

Finally, for more eBibleguide studies about other Bible quotes, visit our BIBLE QUOTES EXPLAINED page.

Victor Ashiedu
Victor started following Christ on December 30th, 1999. He believes that believers have to spend time in God's word - the more you know the Word, the more you know your rights in Christ Jesus! He started eBibleguide.com, firstly to help him stay in God's Word. But, eBibleguide.com also hopes to contribute to the Christain community.

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