I have thoroughly enjoyed an inductive Bible study I just finished on I Corinthians 13. I use Mama’s Refill, a subscription based devotional site. The devotions are all inductive Bible studies, but Pam Forster lays out daily what you are to do, so it is easy to participate even if you have never done inductive Bible studies before.
If you would like to try out her inductive Bible studies, she has a free study on Psalm 91 HERE.
Since she originally made this site for busy mama’s to be able to get into God’s Word, she has at the bottom of each day’s Bible study a devotional you can do with kids. Even if you don’t have kids, you could use the Bible studies that are made for adults. She does direct some thoughts to ladies, but learning how to look up meanings of words, using commentaries and cross references could be done by anyone.
The past month, I have been teaching the children’s church program at our church as the lady who normally does it just lost her husband. I decided to use some of the devotionals that could be done with children from the I Corinthians 13 study.
These lessons would be great to do before Valentine’s day as they talk about what love is. The first thing I did was write I Corinthians 13:4-7 on the board. I used the NKJV as it uses the word “love” instead of “charity,” but you could use whatever version you like best.
I would leave space above and below each line of words so that you can write above and below the verses to add synonyms later for different words.
When the kids came in, I read about the passage and then talked about what the verses meant. Most of this information I got from doing the adult inductive Bible study on I Corinthians 13.
Below are verses 4-7. In parentheses are some of the synonyms/explanations I gave for the meanings of the words. The underlined words I wrote above the words that were already on the board so that as we went to the next step, the synonyms appeared with the verses. Hopefully, the kids would be able to look at this to remind them what the verses meant.
- Love suffers long. (This means love is patient with others. It is patient when others offend have offended it. It is slow to anger and slow to react.)
- and is kind; (This is active kindness. It’s not just thinking kind thoughts; it is doing kind deeds for others. It is useful and pleasant.)
- love does not envy; (It is not jealous. It does not talk maliciously about others.)
- love does not parade itself, (It does not boast or brag.)
- is not puffed up; (It is not inflated in its opinion about itself. It is not arrogant. It does not put itself on display.)
- does not behave rudely, (Does not bring disgrace or dishonor on on someone.)
- does not seek its own, (Does not insist on its own way.)
- is not provoked, (is not irritable or resentful. It does not get angry easily.)
- thinks no evil; (It refuses to believe lies about others; it doesn’t remember or record the wrongs others have done against us. It lays down or forgives the offenses people do against it. It does not look for hidden motives in the the things people say and do. It believes the best in others.)
- does not rejoice in iniquity, (Love does not delight in evil or wrongdoing. It takes no pleasure in evil. It takes no joy in doing injury or hurt to anyone. It wishes ill to no one. It will not rejoice at the faults or failings of others.)
- but rejoices in the truth; (It rejoices whenever the truth wins out. It is highly satisfied when we see truth or justice prevail. It rejoices in the success of the Gospel and when others have shared the truth and people have turned to God. It is highly delighted when others do well.)
- bears all things, (It covers with silence. It endures patiently without having to tell everyone about the hardship. It keeps every confidence and protects others by not telling their secrets.)
- believes all things, (It has faith. It thinks to be true of another person what they have said is true.)
- hopes all things, (It trusts in. It expects the best. It continues to expect good in someone else even when others have given up on that person.)
- endures all things. (It remains even when times are hard; it perseveres. It endures persecutions in a patient and loving spirit.)
After we discussed what the verses meant, I handed out a copy of the verses. It had I Corinthians 13:4-7 printed out twice. In the top section of verses, I had them cross out the word love and put in their name instead of the word love. Then they were to read the verses to themselves. Could they always say that they are kind or that they don’t brag? No, they couldn’t could they?
Then in the 2nd section of verses, I had then cross out the word love and put in Jesus’ name. Then they were to read it to them to themselves as I read it out loud. Were these verses now true? Was Jesus always kind? Yes Did Jesus brag? No.
So we are not always loving, but Jesus always was. That’s because God is love. He is (or is not) all those love phrases. It is His nature. So if we want to be more loving, then we should study Jesus’ life and try to become more like Him.
I then challenged them to purposefully work on just one or two of the phrases every week. It may be overwhelming to try to remember everything, but if they know they are someone who brags or they are unkind to others, start with the one thing and ask God to help them to change.
In our class, as I was filling in for the teacher who just lost her husband, we went and made cards for her that we could send to her in the mail. That was an active kindness we could do for her to show that we loved her and were praying for her.
If you would like a copy of the bullet points above, you can get one here. It also includes a copy of the NKJV verses if you want the children to cross out the word love and put in their names and Jesus’ name. If you want to edit it, you would go to “File” and “Make a copy” and then you can edit your copy.
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