An article was going around the web a few months back with a great tip for teaching our kids how to choose their partner. In the article it mentioned reading the verse from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with our children. Then you tell your child to replace the word love with the name of their prospective partner and see if the statements would still be true.
I loved this idea! I think the Bible holds the secrets to a happy and peaceful life and any time we can teach our kids how to practically apply the Bible into their lives I would totally recommend it.
Yesterday gave me the perfect opportunity to apply this to my daughter. We were watching an episode of Duck Dynasty. One of the sons got married at quite a young age by today's standards and my daughter asked if that's okay and also how the young people knew it was time to get married. It called for a long discussion but one of the things we discussed was the tip from that article.
We went over the verse and we talked about what each part meant in real life (or practically). I told her that when she grows up and she needs to choose a boyfriend or a partner she needs to pull out this verse and replace the word love with her suitor's name. We decided to try it with her dad so we read this together:
Ruy is patient, Ruy is kind.Ruy does not envy, Ruy does not boast,Ruy is not proud.Ruy is not rude, Ruy is not self-seeking, Ruy is not easily angered, Ruy keeps no record of wrongs.
Ruy does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.Ruy always protects, always trusts,always hopes, always perseveres.
She was excited to see that her dad fits the description! She was really excited with this trick but then I knew that while this tip was wonderful it was incomplete. I then told her "Honey, while you need to make sure that your boyfriend will be all of these things it is even more important that YOU fit these descriptions."
I realized that with a lot of my counseling clients they often demand their partners to be a certain thing while not holding themselves to the same measuring stick. The goal in our life shouldn't just be to find a good partner in life but to BE that good partner to someone else.
So we replaced the word love again but this time replaced it with her name.
Andrea is patient, Andrea is kind.
Andrea does not envy, Andrea does not boast,
Andrea is not proud.
Andrea is not rude, Andrea is not self-seeking,
Andrea is not easily angered,
Andrea keeps no record of wrongs.
Andrea does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
Andrea always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
I asked her to look over all the statements and see which one is easiest for her. She said that she finds it easy to be kind to people. I said that's wonderful and then I proceeded to ask her which statement is the most challenging for her. Her answer was so interesting, she said "Mom I have no problem with feeling envious but it really drives me nuts when I know that the other person is saying things just to boast and make me feel bad.". We talked about how she can address that in the future and she was pleased.
Andrea loved the lesson so much that a few hours after she told me "Mom I think I am going to tell my children and my grandchildren about that lesson you told me cause that's so important! But only after I tell them the top-secret family recipe for Hot Chocolate."