Living Love: Unfailing Love


February Series: Living Love
Musing 3 of 4 – Unfailing Love


“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 NKJV

One of the most poignant moments I’ve ever experienced was attending the sixtieth wedding anniversary of our dear friends, Bob and Bunny, who thoroughly loved and enjoyed life, the Lord, and each other. One of their greatest fears had always been to out-survive the other.

Unbeknownst to the couple, their family had arranged for them to renew their vows at this celebration. Now beckoned forward by our pastor, frailed by the years, they slowly made their way across the lawn arm in arm. Their jovial demeanor instantly moved into solemn seriousness, knowing they were entering into the very presence of God in the renewal of a holy contract.

As we gathered around them on that warm afternoon, they renewed their promise to love and to cherish, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death—the latter never more a reality than in those last days of declining health. Theirs wasn’t the pseudo-love of going through the motions or muddling through nor the kind that said: “I will love you as long as [fill in the blank]. They had a different kind of love.

So what was the difference? What was the staying power behind their years? They had unfailing love. Their foundation was the love of and from the Father that permeated every area of their lives, including how they viewed and treated each other and everyone else. I’m sure life wasn’t always easy, but unfailing love enabled them to weather the many storms, bring glory to God, be the picture to others of God’s inexhaustible love, put “self” aside, and sacrificially give the very best for the other.

Every day, they could be seen in their favorite pastime, walking their ritual route, side by side, arm in arm. What a beautiful picture of an abiding relationship with God, linking arms with Him, going in His direction of unfailing love toward others because we’ve received that kind of love from Him.

“Never” (in our verse) is translated from the Greek word meaning “not even at any time, not at all.” It leaves no room at all for any possibility for love to fail, to give up, to quit, or to end.

“Fail” is translated from the Greek word meaning “to drop away, especially to be driven out of one’s course, to lose, to become inefficient, to be cast off, to fall away, or to take no effect.”

Unlike all the other things which end or fail, even the good things in today’s verse, God’s kind of love stays the course. We can do nothing to out-sin, outrun, out-mistake, or out-doubt God’s unfailing love. It is eternal, perfect, whole and complete, lineless, and stringless. It cannot be earned; it is a gift.

Being on either end of conditional love makes it hard to grasp God’s unfailing love toward us—or to be able to unfailingly love others, especially those who are not so easy on the heart. Love that never fails comes only through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ—God’s unfailing, inexhaustible gift to us.

I can imagine a love like that because I not only see it in others, but I get to live it with my Ralph, the love of my life who loves me with everything Christ has given him. More importantly, I am unfailingly loved by the very Lover of my soul, who loved me with His life while I was still His enemy and who continues to love me despite my failings, shortfalls, stumblings, imperfections, and inabilities. Now that’s unfailing love!

On July 15, 2007, just two years after that moving celebration, Elbert (Bob) Bennett temporarily stepped away from his wife and into his eternal Home. Two short years later, almost to the day, on June 8, 2009, Ethel (Bunny) Bennett eagerly left here to follow her beloved. They ended their earthly lives together in the very same way they had begun: in the unfailing love of God.

Their legacy has left an indelible mark on the lives of all who knew them, especially upon Ralph’s and mine.

Father, thank You for Your unfailing love that knows no bounds and has no end. Thank You for the unfailing love of my husband and the examples of those in my life like Bob and Bunny. Help me to love others with your unfailing love. I love You, Lord!

Unfailing love flows from His heart and heals my soul,
In spite of who I am, He loves and makes me whole.
I almost can’t believe it’s true, unfailing love,
And yet I know He gave His life to give to me
Unfailing love.
(Evie Tornquist Karlsson)

Safe in His care,
Donna Perkins




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Amen! Such a beautiful message, Donna!

  • Margaret Fowler
    February 21, 2023 12:08 am

    Thank you Donna, you brought tears to my eyes, a beautiful message of love. I am grateful for the love Ray and I have, with
    many memories and all the many years that we still enjoy together. And we are blessed to share the love of God who has given
    us so many years of knowing Him, and sharing His love.


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