1 Corinthians 13:7
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Protection is a funny thing in today’s society. Everyone wants to feel safe and protected but on the flip side, no one wants to admit that they are vulnerable and need to be protected. Admitting that we need protection seems to be admitting a weakness but this simply isn’t true.
What is true is that we are incapable of completely protecting ourselves. We can have locks on our doors and a gun in our house and these things may make us feel safe but they are not guarantees of protection. It takes a police force to arrest criminals and a military to protect our borders to help keep us safe. In short, we can’t protect ourselves as much as we may like but this is not a matter of weakness.
All of this is to say that it is perfectly acceptable to want to feel protected by someone you love as well as the desire to protect them. Protection means a lot of different things. We often think of physical protection but it extends to mental and emotional protection as well. It should be our natural reaction to want to shield someone we love from news that may hurt them mentally or emotionally.
Protecting someone sometimes comes at a personal cost. For our physical protection there are men and women whose lives are literally at risk every day. In order to protect someone we love we may endure hardship. We don’t do so because we think that they are weak or even that they need protection. Instead we do it because we love them and we don’t want to see them hurt even if it hurts us.
If one is to be protecting, they must also follow the doctor’s Hippocratic oath of “do no harm.” This might seem obvious but the reality is that the person our loved one may need the most protection from is our self. Because we know the people that we love better than anyone else, we also have the greatest potential to harm them. We might bring up past deeds, or lash out verbally in a way that we know will hurt them more than any physical wound we could inflict. While we want to protect our loved one from others, the person we might need to protect them from the most is our self.