When I type the word “painstaking” in my phone, it automatically suggests “work” as the next word. Do you ever hear it paired with any other word?
Painstaking work is often necessary, even good. We know this and brace ourselves for it, muster our endurance and strength and willpower.
But painstaking love is something we don’t give much thought to. But maybe we should. Let me try this definition of love: improving the life of another person, regardless of the effect on your own life. When you define it like that, love is sometimes going to get painstaking: really challenging, pushing us to the edge of our capacity, more than most people are willing to undergo. Much like painstaking work, painstaking love achieves the strongest effect.