If you recall from a recent post, I introduced a scripture memory challenge for 2020. In this challenge, we will be memorizing 1 Corinthians 13. We began last month (better late than never) with verse one.
I think it’s important not only to memorize Scripture, but to gain a better understanding of it. So I’d like to break this verse down and try to apply it to our daily lives in the home.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.1 Corinthians 13:1 ESV
First of all, I must lead off with the reminder that I am not a Bible Scholar. I don’t have any kind of degree in biblical studies. That being said most of these ideas either come from commentaries or my own personal opinions.
I find it interesting that Paul started off with addressing our words. He referred to speaking “with the tongues of men”. Most commentators agree this is probably referencing the Gift of Tongues as referred to in chapter 12. But as I apply this to my own life, I don’t think it matters what language I’m speaking.
His point (I believe) is that it doesn’t matter what you say, or how eloquently you say it, if it is done without love as the motivator, it’s ultimately meaningless.
I’ve said this before, but our speech is so important. It indicates the temperature of our hearts. It reveals what we’ve been focusing on and filling our minds with. It is one of the gauges that we are measured by. Not to mention, as parents, it is one of the vital ways our children learn. We all know that feeling of hearing our child repeat a phrase or word that you know could only have come from you.
So what does this mean for us as homemakers and parents? Our job is to create a haven, a sanctuary, a place of rest. But that’s going to be very hard to do if our words are spoken without love. Even if they are spoken in calm, voices, our family will know when they are loveless words and will not feel safe or at home.
Noisy Gongs and Clanging Cymbals
I appreciate a good percussionist. Their talent adds so much depth to an orchestra piece. But have you ever noticed or really thought about the sound a gong or cymbal makes? It starts out really loud, big and bold. But then quickly fades away and is completely drowned out by the sound of other instruments.
What does this have to do with our speech? Again, we can say all the right words and form the most eloquent monologues but if they lack love, anything we say will be forgotten almost instantly.
As parents, we can’t afford to have our words fade into the noise of the world. We have to make sure that we train our children in love. It’s vital for their moral and spiritual health that they remember the nurture and admonition in the Lord they received growing up.
As Christians, the world cannot afford for our testimony to fade out. Whether they realize it or not, people need Jesus. They need to hear of their sin and of his love, in the same sentence. They need to know that God isn’t just some made up entity to make some people feel better. They need to hear the Gospel presented in love. Because without love, our words will fade into the noise and chaos of the world around us.