In 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 the God who IS love gives us His definition of love:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
To really understand love, consider 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 with the name of Jesus instead of the word “love” since Jesus is what love looks like perfectly:
Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not envy or boast; Jesus is not arrogant or rude. Jesus does not insist on His own way; Jesus is not irritable or resentful; Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing, Jesus rejoices with the truth. Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Jesus never ends.
Now, ask yourself the following yes/no questions to contemplate which character traits you can grow in to become a more loving person. If you have older children, have them answer the questions about themselves and about you. If you have younger children, think how you would answer the questions for them.
- Am I patient?
- Am I kind?
- Do I celebrate the success of others instead of jealously envying others?
- Am I a secure person who does not boast about myself?
- Am I humble instead of arrogant and proud?
- Are my words and actions thoughtful rather than rude?
- Do I allow others to have their way instead of demanding my own way?
- Am I easygoing instead of irritable and grumpy?
- Am I a forgiving person who is not resentful or bitter?
- Do I want good for others instead of rejoicing at wrongdoing and the suffering of others?
- Do I rejoice at the truth even if it exposes something bad about me?
- Am I a longsuffering person who bears all things in relationship with God and others?
- Do I believe all the things that God says?
- Do I continue to have hope for God to work in all things?
- Do I endure all things, even the toughest parts of life?
- Does my love for God or others keep going no matter what, and not come to an end?
Which characteristics are your weakest from your point of view? From your child’s point of view? Which characteristics are your child’s weakest from your point of view? From your child’s point of view?