1 Corinthians 13:1 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

Many of us know 1 Corinthians 13 as the “love chapter.”   We have heard sermons preached about the definition of love from this chapter, and we have even heard it read at a wedding ceremony.  What does 1 Corinthians 13:1 have to do with parents, kids, and love?  How does it relate?

Chapters in the Bible were not God’s idea, but man’s way of simplifying the process of finding a certain passage of Scripture.  Therefore, a new chapter does not always mean a new train of thought.  In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul is describing the spiritual gifts that Christians are given.  One of those gifts is the gift of teaching.  Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul says that even if you are the greatest teacher of all time, if you do not have love attached with your words, what good is it?  Literally, the sounding brass probably referred to instruments that were used in worship of the heathen gods, and the words tinkling cymbal gives the picture of a hollow sound.  In other words, your relationship and impact with your kids without love is hollow! It’s nothing.  It’s a waste!  Psychologist Dr. Scroggie said, “Language without love is like noise without melody.”

How do you show your children you love them?

TIME

Children have the ability to know if you genuinely love them.  They can sense whether or not you have time for them.  It has been said, that love is spelled “TIME.”  When was the last time that you planned a daddy/daughter date or a day in the park with the family?  Do your children see you taking time out of your schedule in order to spend time with them?

I have heard it said that the way you find out what someone loves is you look at their checkbook and their calendar.  If we were to look at your calendar, would we see time planned with your family?  I do believe that you should plan that time.  Quality family time does not always just happen. Sometimes it requires you planning ahead.  Putting a family activity on your calendar is not reducing that time down to the quality of a meeting, but it is reassuring that nothing else happens during that time.  Spend time with your children.

ACCEPTANCE

Everyone needs acceptance – adults included!  Everyone wants to know the job that they completed met the standards of acceptance.  You and I are no different.  We enjoy it when someone congratulates us on a job well done.

Do accept your child for who they are?  Do you let them know when they have done something right?  I know that it is easy to promptly correct them when they have done something wrong, and they do need to be corrected.  But, do you tell them you are proud of them for the good job they did on a school project?  On a sports team?  After they have cleaned their room?  There are numerous opportunities for us to show our children that we accept them for who they are and what they can do, but do we take advantage of those opportunities?

PRAISE

Along the lines of accepting your children is praising your children.  Shower them with your praise.  Daily remind them that you are proud of them.  They desire praise, and they correlate praise with love.  They will return love to those that praise them.  If they are looking for praise, should that not come from their parents?  Yes, make sure to praise your children.  Look for something each day to praise them for.

Why are these things important?  If your children do not realize that you love them, it does not matter how much you teach or train them, you will sound like a sounding brass or tinkling cymbal to them.  The statement “they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” is true for parenting as well.  If they understand that you love them, then they will take your correction and discipline as a tool that can help them.  If they know that you love them, then they will recognize that rules are meant to be a fence of protection not a wall to prevent fun from coming their way.  On purpose, show your children your love!