“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs”. I Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV
Perhaps you’ve heard of 1 Corinthians 13 known as the love chapter in the Bible. In this chapter, Paul tells us what love is and also what love isn’t. It has never been one of my favorites as I have a hard time living up to it. It is right up there with listening to Proverbs 31 every Mother’s Day explaining the perfect wife, mother and all around woman. These two chapters leave me feeling I have missed the mark but encourage me to depend on God and the Holy Spirit more each and every day.
Recently, I heard the country song “Black Sheep” by John Anderson. One of the lines of the chorus tells of his father telling his mother, “Wake me up early, be good to my dogs, and teach my children to pray”. I thought that about sums it up. It may not be as eloquent as I Corinthians 13. It might not have all the spiritual backing of Ephesians 5 telling wives to submit and husbands to love as Christ loved the Church giving his life for her. It might not be a love story like Song of Solomon but it is really good advice. You could let me sleep in but if you are good to my dogs and teach my children to pray we have a pretty good foundation for life.
How we treat others is the Golden Rule Jesus talks about in Matthew 7:12, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it”. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord”.
Deuteronomy 6 instructs the Israelites to pass all of God’s commandments on to their children. Verse 7 says to impress them on your children and talk about them at home and wherever you might be so that God and his commandments are never forgotten or taken lightly.
The next wedding you go to and you have to write down some advice for the happy couple, don’t forget I Corinthians 13 but go ahead and write down, “Wake me up early, be good to my dogs, and teach my children to pray”. We can all benefit from kindness, love, and talking to God daily in prayer and if they aren’t dog people, love them anyway!