Sunday, February 5, 2012

An activity to teach kindness and love based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I'm not sure if it was brought on by the dreary, cloudy days we had in January, but patience and kindness seem to be in short supply around our house lately.   I was wondering how I could encourage my children to show more generosity toward each other when I stumbled upon the "love" passage in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated,
it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
  (from The USCCB website)

My first inclination was to require encourage my nine and twelve year old to to memorize this Bible passage, but they would probably balk and argue about it, which would defeat the purpose!

Instead, I wondered how I could make a "game" out of learning the passage and encouraging kindness in our everyday actions. At the same time, I thought it would be a perfect activity for the days surrounding St. Valentine's Day.

I ran across this free printable subway art from The Girl Creative and suddenly, I knew what to do!

I printed it out twice.  I framed one of the copies in a plain white frame that I had embellished with red and silver paint pens, red glitter and glitter hearts.   I cut apart the second copy into phrase pieces and then decoupaged them with Mod Podge onto a clear glass vase that wasn't being used.  Here are the results:

Then I picked up some acrylic hearts in pink, red and purple.  I originally found small packages at Michael's for $2.99, but later found larger boxes of them for $2 at Target's dollar spot:

I put a bunch of acrylic hearts in a bowl, then placed the frame, vase and bowl on a sideboard near my dining room table.

At supper, my family discussed 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and what it means to be patient, kind, not envious and the other virtues in the Bible passage.  I told the kids I was going to give them a challenge.  Every time they performed one of the virtues, they could take an acrylic heart from the white bowl and put it in the vase.  If the vase is filled by February 14, I will buy all the ingredients to make banana splits and we will have a "Banana Split Sundae" on the Sunday before Lent begins.

We started on February 1.  The house has been a bit more peaceful, as the kids look for ways to be kind to each other and do little errands for my husband and I (without asking).  I realize the kids might go back to their old ways after the challenge is over, but I'm also praying that they begin to like the feeling they get when they do kind things for each other! 

Linking up to these blogs -- check them out for St. Valentine Day inspiration!


  1. so creative Cheryl -- I love this!! I'm going to print this lovely verse!

  2. Definitely creative - and a beautiful verse!!

  3. Very lovely and keeping them focused on the meaning as well! Its so nice to see something Catholic that teaches virtue to young children. May you have a blessed St. Valentine's Day!

  4. Found you at ECF's Len link-up. We may try this during lent.