Some of you, those of a certain age who also grew up in N. America, may remember Stretch Armstrong. This was a toy in the 70's. The toy was of a muscular man whose arms and legs could be stretched long distances. I was thinking about this toy recently when reviewing this Scripture on love: "Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn't jealous. It doesn't sing its own praises. It isn't arrogant. It isn't rude. It doesn't think about itself. It isn't irritable. It doesn't keep track of wrongs. It isn't happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. Love never comes to an end. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
So this verse got me to thinking about real love. When I read this description of love I realized one thing. Real love has to stretch. You can say you love someone but if you are not willing to stretch with them, it's not love. A stretching love is patient when the other person irritates us. It is kind to our enemies, walks with our friends and holds no account of rights and wrongs.
Ask any married couple of 50+ years and they will tell you they had to choose to love. They had to stretch.
Jesus did as well. When He loved us enough to stretch out His arms and die how can we love those around us any less?