"I've always dreamed of being an old philosopher. So far I've achieved one out of two!"

Valentines Day: What is Love?

I Corinthians 13:4-8a

(Before reading the above, do the lesson below.)

I Corinthians 13:4-8a is one of the most recognizable passages in the bible regarding love. It gives some specific descriptions of what love is. When asked "What is the most important commandment?", Jesus said,"‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31.)

Having heard Jesus say this, how would you describe love? What are its characteristics?








What are some examples of these characteristics alive in your relationships with those you love?




Other Family:

Others, outside your family:


How would you fill in the following blanks in Paul’s description of love (before reading I Corinthians 13:4-8a?)



4 Love is ________

and ______;

love is not ________ or ________;

5 it is not _________ or ______.

Love does not insist on ___ ____ ____;

it is not _________ or _________;

6 it does not rejoice at _______,

but rejoices in the ________.

7 Love _________ all things,

________ all things,

_______ all things,

________ all things.

8 Love never _______;



4 Love is _________,

love is ______.

It does not ________,

it does not ________,

it is not ______.

5 It is not _________,

it is not ______-________,

it is not easily _________,

it keeps no record of ________.

6 Love does not delight in ______.

but rejoices with the _______.

7 It always __________,

always ________,

always ________,

always _________.

8 Love never _______.



4 _________ __________ long,

and is _______;

_________ ___________ not;

_________ ___________ not itself,

is not _________ ___,

5 Doth not behave _____ ________

_________ not her own,

is not easily __________,

thinketh no ______;

6 Rejoiceth not in __________,

but rejoiceth in the ________;

7 _________ all things,

__________ all things,

_________ all things,

_________ all things.

8 _________ never _________.


Take each underlined word in this passage and for a full week focus on that one aspect of your relationship(s).

Discuss the word with each other. What is your behavior regarding the word? What should your behavior be? If change is needed, what will you do to encourage that change in yourself? In your partner?

Consider what the opposite might be in the cases where love is described as "not" something. For example:

LOVE IS: Patient and Kind


Boastful . . . what WOULD love be?

Arrogant . . . what WOULD love be?

Rude . . . what WOULD love be? . . . 

Insisting on its own way . . . what WOULD love be?

Irritable . . . what WOULD love be?

Resentful . . . what WOULD love be?

Rejoicing in the right Rejoicing at wrong . . . what WOULD love be?


LOVE . . .

Bears all things - Believes all things - Hopes all things - Endures all things

(What does this mean in your relationship with each other? With God?)

LOVE Never Ends. LOVE Never Fails!

(These are all-encompassing and complete statements, but exactly what do they mean to you in your life?)



4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;

5 it is not arrogant or rude; Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends;



4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.



4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth.