Are You Teaching
With Love?

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV)

The Bible is a love letter from God instructing us in every area of life, including teaching. Loving is not just for Sundays, but for every day, including the moments we teach our children.

When your child does not understand an assignment, will we explain it again or even be willing to re-word the directions until it is understandable? Some children may say, “I hate school!” Can we make room in our heart to accept these feelings of frustration as readily as their feelings of exuberance?

Your child may be as different from you as the moon is from the sun. You were the sun. Bright and delightful. Teachers adored you and wanted to clone you. “Independent” was a word regularly scrawled on the comment area of your report card. Mom beamed when anyone remotely referred to school because she could break out the long and joyous tale of your accomplishments.

Your son or daughter is the moon. They go through phases. During spelling they cooperate and shine, but during the cursive writing lesson something happens. You say, “Okay, down and then up in your formation.” Instead of following your gentle lead, they blow up. “I can’t do it this way! Please leave me alone!” You may wonder if the child is the same kid.

Others may have a child that doesn’t go through phases, but has little light of their own. Nearly every moment of success depends on others. Yes, they earned a certificate for their essay, but nearly every sentence was prompted by you. “How will my child ever make it on their own?” you wonder.

The Bible does not give predictable and easy solutions to the teaching difficulties we face, but it clearly shows where God’s heart is. I believe God is not concerned with our finesse as teachers, the radical independence society cherishes, or the number of spelling bee trophies that line our shelves. But he is concerned with how well we love him and others.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) “One of them an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’ ” (Matthew 22:35-50 NIV)

Take time this month to meditate on Corinthians 13:1-3 and allow God to make loving your child a daily priority in every lesson.

Randy Saller Contact Information

About the Author

My name is Randy Saller. I am a special education teacher at Gavin Central in Lake Villa, Illinois. I have a BA in Special Education and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction. I have been married to Amy Jo for the last 18 years. God has blessed us with three wonderful children- Jonah, Gilbert, and Sadie. Some of my interests include spending time with family, running, fishing, and writing. I have written for Turtle Magazine, Chicago Parent, and The Old Schoolhouse. My wife and I are Christians with a passion for homeschooling and family discipleship. Two of My favorite verses are: He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..... (Malachi 4:6). I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (1 John 3-4). Amy and I believe that there is no more important ministry than the family ministry. It is our passion to help parents understand the importance of their role in helping their children understand and know God. Although parents will always be imperfect, God has chosen the broken vessel of parenting to have the most influential role (humanly speaking) in the spiritual life of a child. I invite you to explore some of the free resources on this website.

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