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What Does Love Never Fails Mean? 5 Steps for Marriage

1 Corinthians 13 teaches us that love never fails.

Have you quit on your marriage?  God asked me that question this week and it hurt in a deep place.  My immediate, gut-level response was, “No, I will never quit on my marriage.”  He then began to show me areas I have indeed stopped fighting and investing in my marriage.  

Today we will look into what that means and see ways to apply it to our lives so we never quit.

If Love Never Fails…

For more than 10 years I have been fighting for my marriage.  There is a deep drive in me to never be divorced again and to never leave a legacy of divorce to my children.  That drive has pushed me to make huge changes and be patient while waiting on God to work. 

Looking back on the marriage Bud and I had 10 years ago I can see how God has come in to move in miraculous ways.  He gets all the glory!

Why Is Marriage So Hard?

Still, marriage continues to be hard.  Why has marriage been hard?  We are unequally yoked.  We share different worldviews.  When life gets hard we respond completely differently.  Both of us struggle with sin in different areas of life.  We hurt each other unintentionally.  All of this and more lead to a difficult marriage.  

So when the Bible says, “Love never fails” I am filled with hope.  Surprised?  Of course, I could be confused about how love never fails, but the truth is I know of a love that is strong enough to stand the test of time.

God’s Love

God’s love is the real love that never fails.   That’s right, God’s type of love is the greater love that sacrificed His Only Son giving us the Gospel of Jesus Christ to live by. That sounds like such a church answer, but it is the honest truth.

All through my life, there have been people who swore they loved me. Most of them have fallen short in some way.  They left me, hurt me, betrayed me, forgot me, and so much more. People get love wrong.  

God, on the other hand, has never left me, never hurt me, never betrayed me, never forgotten me and He never will.  

When I see the phrase, love never fails, I think about the love of God’s and I have hope.  

Related Post: How to Stop Destroying Your Godly Marriage

What Psalm is Love Never Fails?

Do you need a refresher about God’s love and how it never fails?

Psalm 136 says it over and over again and while the phrase may shift a bit with different versions it means the same things. His love endures forever! His everlasting love endures forever! God’s love never fails!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1 ESV)

Married Love

My husband will always let me down when I expect him to love me as God loves me.  He is amazing and tries his best, but he:

  • Forgets my birthday and our anniversary
  • Leaves me out while planning
  • Hurts my feelings with careless words
  • Has betrayed me in the past and may again one day

My husband’s love is far from God’s mark.  

Married love is not perfect love.  When I expect my husband to love me in a perfect way I will always be disappointed.

How do we defend against all of those things that come after our marriage? How do we rekindle the flames of love that have been failing for a while?  There are 5 steps we can take today to get back to the 1 Corinthians 13 love we… Click To Tweet

My Love

God has been convicting me this week about all the ways I fall short while loving my husband.  

  • I veg out at night instead of talking with my husband.  
  • Work often takes precedence over spending time with him.
  • Kids often drain me leaving very little energy left for him.
  • I lack compassion for his suffering when it is a result of unwise choices on his part.
  • The burdens of life have so pressed in on me that I am irritable, too serious and I squash the fun we should be having.

This year especially, I have not been showing him love the way we have learned to do through studying a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love.

It’s not that I don’t love him, it’s just that I stopped investing in that love this year with all the busyness and struggling.  Can you relate?

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Where in The Bible Does It Say That Love Never Fails?

Honestly, the Bible is filled with so many examples of God’s love never failing that it’s hard to pick a specific love never fails Bible verse.

1 Corinthians 13 is a big one, but I am also partial to John 3:16 which is the ultimate bible verse for love never fails!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NASB)

What Does the Bible Say About Love Never Fails?

We also see many instances of people striving to love as God loved, though most of them failed.  Of all the characters who did this well, I love studying Sara and her complete surrender to God and her husband.

Related Post: How To Study Bible Characters

What Is a Good Bible Verse for Love? 

For our study today, we are looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  In the first part of verse 8, we see the Bible verse about your love never fails! But really, 1 Corinthians 13 is filled with Bible verses about God’s love never failing and us showing that love to the world.

“Love is patientlove is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act disrespectfully or unbecomingly; it does not seek it’s own, is not provoked to anger, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; love bears all thingsbelieves all things, hopes all thingsenduring all thingsLove never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NASB)

By clicking the links in each word you can go back and review what Corinthians says about love if you missed any of this study.  

And to be clear, the Bible says love never fails. It says it so clearly… which does not make it any easier to live out!


What Does Your Love Never Feals Mean?

Since we know that the Bible says love never fails, we must ask about the love never fails meaning to better understand.

In all the other 14 words that describe love in 1 Corinthians 13, we see verbs- which are action words – used. However, in verse 8 love is in the noun form.  What does that tell us in this Bible verse about love never fails?

Below I will outline the meanings in the original language with each Greek word. 

Love never fails meaning:

  • Love
    • (Agape)/noun/
      • Affection, goodwill, brotherly love, benevolence
  • Never
    • (Oudepote)/ adverb/
      • Never, not at any time, absolutely never
  • Fails
    • (Pipto)/ verb/
      • To descend from a higher place to a lower place, to fall or be thrust down, to descend from a tall (erect) position to a prostrate position, to be cast down from a state of prosperity, to lose authority, no longer have force, be removed from power by death

The words love and never are very self-explanatory, but the meaning of ‘fails’ needs to be worked through together.  

Define Fails – Pipto

To descend from a higher place to a lower place shows that when we are walking in love we are in a high place, a righteous place, taking the high road.  If we fail to love we descend or take the low road.

To fall or be thrust down shows that failure is not always our fault.  Often when we are walking in love life hits hard and we fall short.  It can feel as though we have been pushed off of that high road.

To descend from a tall (erect) position to a prostate position brings to mind pride and humility.  When I am proud I am standing tall, but when I am humbled I almost lay full out prostrate on the floor.  

To be cast down from a state of prosperity shows that love is a place of great riches and losing it brings us down far.  

These last three seem to go together:

  • To lose authority
    • Love gives us authority.  Failing at love leaves us feeling helpless.
  • To no longer have force
    • Love is a force to be reconded with.  When apathy, bitterness, or fear creep in we lose the force to keep moving forward.
  • To be removed from power by death
    • Losing love does feel like a death of sorts.  It hurts and keeps hurting.  

Your Love Never Fails

Earlier I said that the one love that never fails is God’s love.  This verse inspired a song with that name that I thought would be fitting.  The lyrics to Your Love Never Fails hit me so hard!

One Thing Remails was written by Jesus Culture.  It puts into simpler terms the words from 1 Corinthians 13:8 (The God’s love never fails Bible verse) – your love never fails verse – in the chorus:

“Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me”

As we continue looking at what the Bible says about love never failing, I hope that song is playing through your mind.  Your love never fails lyrics can help remind you and inspire you to love like Jesus Christ.

What Does Love Never Fails Look Like in Marriage?

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love…” We are supposed to love this way, especially within our Christian marriages. Ouch!

So what does it look like to live within this unfailing love, showing human love in God’s way rather than our own way?   

I think we can all imagine what it looks like for love to fail in marriage. But just in case, I’ll paint a picture.  

  • Distance
  • Disconnect
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Lack of respect
  • Unforgiveness
  • Keeping a record of wrongs
  • Bitterness
  • Resentment
  • Hopelessness
  • Apathy
  • Separation
  • Hard heartedness
  • Divorce

When love fails we lose part of ourselves in the process.  The pain and darkness begin to close in and we lose hope.  

Related Post: How To See Hope After Divorce as a Christian

The Enemy Wants Your Marriage To Fail

So here is the truth, love will fail… if.  If we give in, if we give up, or if we stop fighting. 

The ONLY WAY love fails is IF we do nothing to stop it from failing! 

Life will come in and rob us of our joy.  Trials will come in and press in making us irritable and less focused.  Busyness will tell us to focus on what has to be done rather than investing in our future.  

You have a very real enemy and believe me, he fights dirty.  He won’t wait for you to have time to invest in your marriage, he’ll pile on hard times and stress and trials until you are ready to break!  Don’t underestimate him or count him out.  

BUT, you have a very real God who loves you and defends you.  There is hope to keep marriage from failing and His name is Jesus.  He has given us everything we need because He came to live with us and in us and fight for us in the battles.  

Together with HIM, we can fight for a love that never fails in marriage.  

Related Post: God Will Fight For You: Be Still My Anxious Mind

5 Steps to Ensure Love Never Fails in Marriage

How do we defend against all of those things that come after our marriage? How do we rekindle the flames of love that have been failing for a while?  Is there hope for a difficult marriage that has been hard for too long?  

Yes.  These are 5 steps we can take today to get back to the 1 Corinthians 13 love we long for. 

  1. Confess
  2. Forgive
  3. Remember
  4. Trust God
  5. Set up guard rails

Confess The Sin of Failure

First, we have to admit to God that we have allowed all the things to slip in and wreck our marriage.  Confess your sin to God.  

Hold on, maybe you don’t feel that letting love fail in your marriage is a sin.  Maybe it’s not in your life, but it usually is in mine.  Let me give you an example.  

My husband repeats the same unwise behaviors in a cycle of craziness that drives me batty.  When I see that cycle start up – again – I begin to pray but if I am not careful some things slip in under the radar.  

  • Expectations he can’t live up to
    • I get irritable and short-tempered with him – sin.
  • Anger over his sin
    • I get distant and start to ignore his needs – sin.
  • A record of all his mistakes for the past 20 years begins to play through my mind
    • I begin to nag and nit-pick at him – sin.
  • Resentment of his mistake causing our family harm – over and over again
    • I withdraw from any form of intimacy with him – sin. 
  • A bitterness that I often have to bear the burden of helping fix his mistakes
    • I avoid being alone with him at all – sin.

SIN.  Ugly, self-centered sin that works in my own crazy cycle.  


After I have come clean with God about my sin problem I have to do a lot of forgiving.  A lot.  It’s crazy how fast unforgiveness comes in and how deeply it hurts everyone involved.  

  • I have to forgive myself for allowing that crazy sin cycle to come in – again.  
  • I have to forgive my husband
    • The forgiveness process in marriage is one I try to keep on a daily process.  I long to easily forgive, but sometimes I don’t realize I haven’t forgiven him about something until it shows up in that cycle!  Can you relate? 
      • Forgiving my husband means I give up my right to be angry for his mistakes.  I give up my right to pay him back for his mistakes.  Through the Holy Spirit working in my heart, I release him to God for HIM to do the work that needs to be done instead of trying to take HIS job.
  • I have to forgive God.
    • Okay, now this might seem prideful and arrogant but hear me out.  I have been praying that God would change this sinful cycle in my husband for almost 20 years.  God has not.
      • Do I believe God could step in at any moment and fix this problem in our lives? Yes.
        • So, why hasn’t HE?  
        • I have to forgive HIM for being slow to move or I will get bitter in my faith walk.  Anybody else? 
      • Do I believe God is faithful, trustworthy, and has a plan for our lives?  Yes.  
      • Does believing that make it any less hard when God says no or God says wait?  NOPE.
        • So I forgive God for not doing things my way… for allowing the hurtful thing to keep happening… for seeming to abandon us to the sin of my husband…  
      • And in all that forgiving, God often shows me how HE has been answering, growing me, growing my husband, and teaching our children who HE is… and I find peace to keep trusting and praying and waiting.  


Walking through the process of forgiving God often shows me what He has been doing.  These are things I couldn’t see in my sin cycle.  He shows me how we have both changed and how our faith has grown through the trials and the waiting.  

Remembering what God has done in the past is a huge part of keeping faith that He will do great things in the future.  But remembering the good in your spouse also helps us keep love alive.  

Remember these good things about your spouse:

  • Why did you marry your spouse?
  • What did you love about them first?
  • When you first started life, what did you love doing together? 
  • What are your favorite moments from the first few years of marriage? 
  • What character traits drew you to them?  

In remembering from when things were good, you can begin to rekindle the flame of love for your spouse again.

Related Post: 14 Characteristics of a Godly Wife That Will Save Your Marriage

Trust God

Trusting God with your marriage is both simple and hard.  God loves you and cares about the things that you care about. 

If your love is failing, be honest with God.  Ask God to help rekindle love in you and your spouse for each other.  Remember that Gods love never fails and it is through His love that we are able to love this way!

Then be intentional to follow through with the things you know will help.  

Remember that God's love never fails and it is through His love that we are able to love this way! Click To Tweet

Set Up Guard Rails

Then, step up guard rails to ensure that love never fails again. 

Remember the five ways that love fails? Ask God to make you sensitive to even the slightest hint that you are failing in your love.  

  1. Take the high road.
    • If you feel tempted to take the low road let that set off a warning bell to find out what is hurting you. 
  2. When life gets hard, watch out for traps that may make you fall.
    • Be aware someone may push you and be braced and ready by investing in time together with your spouse.
  3. Watch out for pride in love, it can easily make you fall humbly and destroy love.
  4. Remember how rich love is and ensure nothing and no one takes it away!
  5. Choose love, no matter how you feel remembering that:
    • Love has authority.
    • Love is a powerful force to fight hardships and trials.
    • You have the resurrection power of Christ Jesus inside of you so that love can not die.   

Related Post: 16 Characteristics of a Godly Marriage

Does True Love Never Fail?

Here’s the thing, God’s love never fails, but we are not God. So even though we have seen this Scripture on love never fails… we are human and prone to fail.

I fail.

Shoot, I often fall flat on my face in failure before I even realize I’ve gotten off track!

So yes, our frail attempts at love may fail, but God can help us get back up and try again!

Love Never Fails In Marriage: Will You Ensure That?

I don’t want God to ever say to me that my life was as obnoxious to Him as a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  I want to live out a great love and glorify my Heavenly Father.  Don’t you? How can we live that way?

Love can be a verb, an action that you live out.  However, love can also be a noun, a thing you must protect at all costs.  Whichever way love is written, we can be sure that God’s love is the real prize.  God’s eternal love is what we demonstrate when love never fails is quoted.  

Have you given up on your marriage, even unintentionally? I have allowed the busyness and burdens of life to back me into a corner this year.  Throughout the year I have invested in many other great things, but not my marriage.  And the enemy snuck in with a foothold of failure in my heart.  

God called me on it and challenged me to fight back.  Will you fight for your marriage today?  

Which of these 5 steps do you need to focus on today?  

  1. Confess
  2. Forgive
  3. Remember
  4. Trust God
  5. Set up guard rails

Do you need prayer to fight the battle?  Drop a comment below and I will stand with you in prayer today!

Do You Need To Go Deeper?

This is part of the 9-week Marriage Bible Study –Finding Hope & Joy in Marriage.  Through this course, we will explore the 9 Biblical foundations of having a successful marriage in God’s way.  

This class will include:

  • 10 video lessons
    • You can watch live or when you have time
  • 9 weeks of personal study
    • 5 days each week that should take 10-15 minutes
  • A private Facebook Group to discuss the homework and talk through the weekly challenges
  • 45 Days of Prayer prompts

in HIS love,

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Tiffany Montgomery

Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children.  Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.

3 thoughts to “What Does Love Never Fails Mean? 5 Steps for Marriage”

  1. I can’t thank you enough for allowing God to use you in this ministry. Your posts help me remember that I am not alone in the struggles that come with marriage and God always uses you to remind me that He is still working. Your stories are often so similar to mine that I could have written them myself (except it’s 15 yrs for me instead of 20). I really would appreciate you praying for my marriage & I will definitely keep you and your marriage in mine as well. Thank you again for allowing God to use you in this way and for writing so openly about your life. I am more grateful than you can fathom.

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