It's the perfect time of year to make a family study of I Corinthians 13, which is a clear message about love, caring, and charity. BibleWise provides 14 lessons wrapped up in a Valentine hug!
Valentine's Day is a perfect time to consider the Bible's First Corinthians 13 and its message on the importance of love/charity/caring. For you and your children age 5 and up, I've mapped out a little study plan for the first 14 days of February. But even if you start a bit late, you can still catch up, or just do it during the remainder of the month. I will be quoting from the "Good News Translation" (Zondervan Publishers), which is fairly similar to the King James Version (KJV).
February 1: v.1"I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell."
- Discuss the importance of speaking to one another in a polite and caring way - as if speaking to a loved one.
- Who wants to be a gong?
February 2: v.2 "I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have the faith needed to move mountains - but if I have no love, I am nothing."
- Where do we hear this kind of talking or boasting?
- Is it loving?
- Can one live without love?
February 3: v.3 "I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned - but if I have no love, this does me no good."
- Why is such a display false?
- Who had enough love to give up his body?
- What was the result?
February 4: v.4 "Love is patient and kind: it is not jealous or conceited or proud;"
- How can love be patient?
- How are jealous and proud people viewed by others?
February 5: v.5a ".....love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable;"
- What do we gain by being selfish? Irritable?
- What are bad manners?
- Are these necessary to today's fast living?
February 6: v.5b "..... love does not keep a record of wrongs;"
- Is it easy to remember what others have done wrong?
- How can one forget and forgive?
- Why would we want to clutter our thinking with others' mistakes?
February 7: v.6 "Love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth." The KJV says "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;..."
- How often do we take pleasure/joy in evil, another's mistake, or when an enemy is revenged?
- Isn't this "rejoicing in evil" what fills most newspaper columns and TV news broadcasts - rather than stories of the truth?
- Is there anything we can do about it?
February 8: v.7 "Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail."
- What is an example of Love/God never failing or of Love never giving up?
- Is this enduring patience always the best way to act?
February 9: v.8 "Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease, there is knowledge, but it will pass."
- Think about the meaning of this as it ties in with tomorrow's quote.
February 10: v.9 and v.10 "but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial."
- How does "knowledge" change?
- What things formerly thought to be permanent, turned out to be temporary?
- What really IS permanent?
February 11: v.11 "When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways,"
- Have you seen an example of this?
- Do you think that your speech, feelings, and thinking are totally adult now?
February 12: v.12a "What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face." KJV says "we see through a glass darkly;"
- What does this have to do with what we know?
February 13: v.12b "What I know now is only partial, then it will be complete - as complete as God's knowledge of me."
- What is God's knowledge of each of us?
- Does it change or was it the same even when we doubted or had some problem? This is God's forever love of you -- which you reflect.
February 14: v.13 "Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love."
- What are examples of our faith, hope, and love -- and examples of how we use God's love?
- How can we do better?
This is also a good time to tell your children and grandchildren how much you love them with a short personal note. Sometimes such a note is a "keeper" and a child will put it in the back of a drawer and pull it out to reread when feeling down.
Happy Valentine's Day!