Love Delights

During the week of Valentine’s Day, the passage from I Corinthians 13:4-8 gets quoted quite a bit.

I can’t hear this passage without remembering the time I taught my son and daughter these words.

They were only four and five years old at the time, so I made a poster using a different color for each phrase. First, we focused on the red words: “Love is patient. Love is kind.”

Then we moved on to the orange words: “It does not envy. It does not boast.”

We proceeded in this colorful fashion until they had the entire passage memorized. It became our “First Corinthians Game.”

One morning, while I gathered laundry at the top of the stairs, I heard Parker say to his sister, “Let’s play First Corinthians!”

With a bored voice, Brynn responded, “No thanks.”

Undeterred, Parker said, “Okay. I’ll do it!”

At the top of the stairs, I stopped to listen and savor the moment.

In his tender four-year-old voice, Parker began: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not self-seeking.”

Just then, Brynn snapped at him, “It is not rude! You’re supposed to say, ‘It is not rude!’”

Parker had accidentally skipped that phrase, and Brynn took delight in pointing out her little brother’s error. An argument ensued.

Parker shouted back, “No! It is not self-seeking!”

Brynn yelled again, “No! It is not rude!”

My maternal moment of bliss was over. I had to go downstairs and break it up. Their words to each other were neither loving nor kind.

Later, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony. Obviously, they had missed the point.

Sometimes we work so hard at getting it “right” that we miss the point too.

Sometimes we are quick to point out another person’s error.
Sometimes we take delight in another person’s mistake.

Yet . . .

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.

Love comes alongside a friend in despair.
Love rejoices in another person’s success.

Love delights.

Have you ever memorized I Corinthians 13:4-8?

Today, I’m joining Lisa-Jo, taking 5 minutes (although today I was closer to 7 minutes) to write about “delight.”

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39 thoughts on “Love Delights

  1. Brynn and Parker are usually such “good little angels” that it is funny to think of them having this little shouting match. I can just picture it, though.

    And, yes, unfortunately, I have all too often worked too hard to get it “just right” and missed the main point completely. Excellent reminder.
    Blessings to you – Marsha

  2. Denise, such beautiful stuff here! I love how you made a game out of that wonderful verse for you kiddos! But I especially appreciate how eloquently you tied that into “delight”! An important reminder.

  3. Leave it to the little ones to help us keep our pride in check! I know mine have many a day…! I do love that particular teaching in Corinthians I, but I think sometimes a little Emily Post can be added to the queue. ‘Good manners is making sure those in your company are made to feel comfortable and at home’. I gave that lesson to mine when they were eager to point out a guest had not waited for Grace to be said before starting to eat….an entire new concept of ‘Grace’ in that teaching moment.

  4. Oh, wow, this is so powerful. Beautifully illustrated — I can hear myself, my words, and the Father listening when my heart and head don’t connect. Thank you so much, Denise. I am so grateful to have read this today.

  5. Mmm……“Sometimes we work so hard at getting it ‘right’ that we miss the point too”…we work so hard we miss the gift He offers and asks us to stop and see..to know. May He open our hearts to seek and find the beauty of His words!

  6. Mmmm.
    Awesome.
    Very powerful, very profound.
    You have me thinking, sweet friend.

    I struggle most with “it is not self-seeking” . . . and “it is not proud.”
    Thank you for the reminder.
    (The good kind. 🙂 )

  7. Denise, the irony is fantastic. Love your story. If I only missed the point as a child. Years ago, I heard Beth Moore talk about “the gap between our theology and our reality.” I immediately saw the grand canyon that was my own life and have since been working to connect the truth of scripture into the words and actions of my every minute life. What a journey we’re on!

    • Heather, I remember reading that very line in Beth Moore’s book “Believing God”! I’ve lived most of my life with a huge gap between my “theology and my reality.” Someday I’m going to have to write more about this. Thanks.

  8. I love this story, the way you tell it so vivid. And this is true for most things in life, how we can be moved passionately to do something and then loss sight of why were called to do it to begin with. This speaks to me.

    • I am quite guilty of this. I can easily become excited and passionate about something in the beginning and then just sort of lost interest along the way. Remembering the “why” helps me retain my focus. 🙂

  9. I was reading along, thinking what a great learning idea this multi-color approach was, and then you got to the real learning! See how I get waylaid on the how-to’s of getting it in the head, instead of the life? Great post. 5 minutes — amazing!

  10. Oh how true and real this is. I hate to think of all of the times I worked so hard to get it right that I completely missed the point-probably more often than not. I loved this Denise. Thank you!!

  11. Oh… I love this… “Sometimes we work so hard at getting it “right” that we miss the point too.” This recovering perfectionist lets this happen all too often, and it is usually me who get exasperated… what a great reminder for me! Thank you!

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