Written By Edna Ho, Malaysia
I was so mad at my boyfriend―let’s call him “T”.
You see, my parents had come to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for my graduation ceremony. It was a weekend. I was excited because T had never met my parents before. I thought this would be a great opportunity for him to meet them too.
Coincidentally, T had to prepare for a good friend’s wedding at the same time. This was a friend he had met while studying in Australia, which meant that many of his long-time-no-see friends would be coming to Malaysia for the wedding. T was really excited about it.
My parents were here for two nights. On the first night, T told me he wanted to spend some time with his Australian friends. I happily agreed since I thought we would have another night to spend with my parents.
The next day was a Sunday. After church, I had one worship practice after another. By the time I finished, it was already 6pm. I received a message from my parents asking if we were going to have dinner together. I turned to ask T, and to my surprise, he shook his head and said, “I feel a little sick. I don’t think I can have dinner with your parents.”
I was very disappointed, but I tried to place myself in his shoes. I immediately texted my mum and said that we would not be having dinner with them. My mum replied, “I’m very upset.”
T drove a few of us home. At a traffic junction, he turned and asked me, “Are you still going to have dinner with your parents?” I shook my head, as my parents were staying at a hotel quite far away and I did not have a car. T proceeded to ask, “Then do you want to join me for dinner with my Australian friends instead?”
My eyes widened in disbelief. He had the audacity to reject dinner with my parents (possibly his future in-laws) saying he was sick, then go ahead and have dinner with his Australian friends?
We quarreled in the car when we reached my home, and T cried in frustration and anger when I told him that my mum was upset about the whole thing. Trying to mend it, he said, “Okay, then let’s go meet them now.”
“But I thought you said you’re tired?”
“Yeah, but I don’t want to disappoint them.”
“It’s too late now.”
I was so mad at him that I could not talk anymore and left the car. Thoughts ran wildly in my head. I asked myself, Where did all the romance and the warm, fuzzy feelings go? Had I made the wrong decision in being with him? Why was he behaving like this? I thought he could be better!
The next day, we bombarded each other’s phone with messages. After laying it all out, I realized that I had been too quick to judge T. He had chickened out on meeting my parents because he felt that he was not in tip-top condition and therefore couldn’t “impress” them. He had opted to meet his Australian friends instead as he was comfortable with them and did not feel any pressure to “perform”. Besides, we had already booked tickets to visit my hometown later.
The following day, T came to my home and we reconciled. God then impressed on me 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. The passage was familiar to me, but that night, the words became personal.
If T were to read this, this is what I would tell him:
Love is patient – I have learned to be patient when you are not yet the man I want to see, but in God’s timing, you are being transformed from glory to glory, day by day (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Love is kind – May I be kind to you in my words and actions.
It does not envy – I will not be jealous when I see you have a good time with your friends.
It does not boast – I will not compare us to see who the stronger or weaker party is.
It is not proud – I will not compare us and ask if one of us is too good for the other.
It is not rude – Forgive me when my words are harsh.
It is not self-seeking – May I not be demanding.
It is not easily angered – May I not be so easily offended or sensitive.
It keeps no record of wrongs – May I not hold on to past mistakes.
Love always protects – I want to protect you: your dignity, heart, mind, and soul.
Love always trusts – I will trust your words.
Love always hopes – May we always believe in the best together.
Love always perseveres – May we not give up when trouble comes.
Love never fails – GOD never fails. When we are weak, He is strong and able to sustain us with His love (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
The romance we see in television dramas and movies is not real love. Real love is sacrificing yourself―your time, interests, and energy―for the person you love. Real love is choosing to stay with the person you have committed your life to no matter what happens.
May I love T like how Jesus loves me and him.