Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School
February 14, 2017
Valentine's Day is often labeled a "Hallmark Holiday" however; it is an opportunity to spread love to our friends and families. In our Christian schools, Valentine's Day is also a time to reflect on God's love. The apostle Paul outlines the characteristics of love in his first letter to the Corinthians:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(I Corinthians 13:4-7, New International Version)
As a 3rd grade teacher, I loved celebrating Valentine's Day with my students. We would decorate mailboxes, pass out Valentines and write notes to the special people in our lives. We would also read this passage from I Corinthians to prompt a discussion about what love looks like. After reading it through once, I would ask each of my students to replace the word "love" with his or her first name and I would do the same. The result would be something like this:
Mrs. Breuker is patient.
Mrs. Breuker is kind.
Mrs. Breuker does not envy, does not boast and is not proud.
Mrs. Breuker does not dishonor others.
Mrs. Breuker is not self-seeking.
Mrs. Breuker is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.
Mrs. Breuker does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Mrs. Breuker always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
When my students and I read our new versions of this passage, our reactions were almost always the same. We were uncomfortable with saying that we are always patient, always kind or always selfless. We didn't feel that these words were consistently true. We recognized that we all fall short of this ideal and perfect love. Thankfully, Jesus came to save us from our imperfections. We do not have to be perfect because he is. His love covers all of the ways we fall short of loving each other. We would then write JESUS over the passage as a reminder that Jesus' love covers our sins. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ!
Just a reminder, we do not have school on Friday or Monday for Winter Break (February 17-20). Enrichment Week is February 21-24 for students who have enrolled.
Enjoy your break!
Grace and Peace,