I can still remember the day the Lord showed me I was not loving my husband HIS way. At the time, I was sure he was the problem and there was no solution. Then I began to study 1 Corinthians 13 love. Talk about shocking and life-changing.
This free marriage Bible study unit will dig into 1 Corinthians 13 and all that it says about God’s way to love others. We will apply it to marriage, however I use it to help teach my children to love well. The message is universal and simple.
What Is The Meaning of 1 Corinthians 13 Love?
Love is a desire we all share.
The desire to be loved is powerful yet the feeling of being loved is elusive, especially after some time being married. Today we will look at 1 Corinthians 13 love as it applies to marriage to keep the sparks of love alive even if it died out long ago.
But to start, who or what do you love?
I love coffee, yoga, Bud, my children, reading, Skittles (our Australian Shepherd), Jesus, coffee (yes again), chocolate, and Taco Bell… not in that particular order 😉
It’s funny to think that I could love all of those things. Hm, if I’m very honest I would say some of those things are likes and wants rather than loves. Love goes much deeper than coffee and books as we see in 1st Corinthians 13.
What is 1 Corinthians 13 love?
How do we live it out?
That is where we are headed today… deep into the idea that love puts away childish things.
How Does the Bible Define Love?
There are many different types of love described in the Bible.
Whether the Bible is describing romantic love, friendship love, God’s love or any other type of love we see an underlying theme. You can love others but the best love requires two as it is a connection that runs deeply from one heart to the other.
Is 1 Corinthians 13 Agape Love?What is a 1 Corinthians 13 love? How do we live it out? That is where we are headed today… deep into the idea that love puts away childish things. Click To Tweet
There are several types of love mentioned in the Bible but the one that leaves me speechless every time is Agape (click here to see the learn more).
In the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians 13, we see agape love defined shockingly. 1 Corinthians 13 teaches us that all believers are to show love to everyone.
- Believer or not (insert shocked face)
- Married or not
- Kind or not… oh but I am getting ahead of myself.
Agape Love is a Powerful Verb
Just to be clear… What does 1 Corinthians 13 say about love? This is a love that is for everyone! That is powerful!!!!!!
As God took Bud and me through a hard season in our marriage, this passage taught me how to be a godly wife*.
- To love my Christian husband when he was acting unlovable.
- God helped me love my husband like I love other believers0
- 1 Corinthians 13 is not a romantic book about Christian marriage – BUT we can apply it to marriage easily!
- To stay connected with other wives trying to live this same way (check out the Facebook group where Christian Wives chose Hope and Joy in every Season)
God had to take me all the way back to the basics of love to get my attention. Embarrassing but true!
More Than Tongues or Words: 1 Corinthians 13 Love Is A Verb
The Bible teaches that love is more than words. If we saw 1 Corinthians 13 King James Version we would see that it begins this way
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13 KJV)
Words without actions are like an annoying sound like a resounding gong that you want to tune out.
I need to treat my husband with the same love I show others – the same love God shows me!
Isn’t it crazy that I am kind and loving to everyone around me but not always the same at home!?!?!?!
Can you relate?
And boy howdy did it work! This love is a verb that leads to a radical change!
Does 1 Corinthians 13 Describe God’s Love in the Bible?
In His Word, God tells us of His great love for us. He demonstrates His great love for us. Then, the Lord reminds us that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, His Spirit. As loved children, gifted with the Spirit, we are to love others as we are loved!
We are given 1 Corinthians 13 love, meaning we must then give it to others!
How To Use This Free Marriage Bible Study on 1 Corinthians 13
To understand what the Apostle Paul was saying we will dig into each word in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, unpack the deeper meanings, and find ways to practically apply each word to marriage.
How can you get the most out of this free marriage Bible study on 1 Corinthians 13 Love?
- Bookmark this page
- Come back for each days work.
- Keep it in context
- Read the passage completely before you start each day’s study.
- Go slow
- Take this slowly, not moving on until you understand and have practiced each of the important lessons.
- Take time to think through what you studied.
- Ask the Lord to help you apply what you learned.
- Do the marriage challenge at the end of each article for the fullest results!
- Go deeper
- Join the full 9 week study (this is 1 teaching of over 40)
1 Corinthians 13 Love Verses
When we think of this topic we think, “1 Corinthians 13 love is patient.” But take a moment each day and read this completely.
“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails;” (1 Corinthians 13 NIV – New International Version)
This is radical love, Biblical love!
We need to love others this way!
The Spirit of Love is More Than Knowledge or Gifts!
The introduction helps us see why Paul is talking about love. It’s not enough to know a lot of things or have a lot of Spiritual gifts. Prophetic powers, the gift of tongues, gifts of knowledge of the mysteries of Scripture mean nothing without love.
The love of God, His unconditional love is what changes us! Love is what draws people to Christ Jesus!
Read the introduction to the love chapter slowly.
If I speak with the tongues of mankind and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.And if I give away all my possessions to charity, and if I surrender my body so that I may glory, but do not have love, it does me no good. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NASB)
These Three Remain: Faith, Hope and Love (Charity)
Often, when we think of 1 Corinthians 13 love we are reciting verses 4-8… 1 Corinthians 13 love never fails.
That last line is actually the beginning of a new thought, and we need it to complete our study.
“Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
For we know in part and prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known.
But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:8-13 NASB)
Love never fails, Paul finishes. God gave us gifts and knowledge, yes, but His love is what will endure throughout eternity.
When we focus on childish ways of bragging over Spiritual gifts we miss the point of true love.
The more excellent way to win the world to Jesus is to God’s love and then share it without reservation!
Use A Journal
I can not overstate how important it is to do more than just read a Bible study. When you study the Word of God you are interacting with the creator of the Universe.
Come expecting Him to talk to you!
Write down what you learn, what He says, what you think and anything else along the way. It will help the material go heart and soul deep. It will help you remember what you learned.
You can use a notebook from the Dollar Store.
But I am creating journal pages specific to this study (at your request). When they are finished I will link them below!
Use A Prayer Journal
Something else that has helped me in the study of Scripture is to have a separate journal for my prayers. I like to come back to review what I’ve learned in Bible study, but that is occasionally.
A prayer journal is a daily guide to help you stay focused on the issues you want to cover in prayer.
This is a journal (A Strategic Prayer Journal) that I love to re-print and use to help me separate my prayer life into manageable chunks.
15 Day Free Marriage Bible Study on 1 Corinthians 13 Love
There are powerful ways to show Biblical love, Christian love, especially in marriage!
As we look at this 1 Corinthians 13 love, these 15 powerful words should be studied in two parts.
- Personal application (days 1-10)
- The first part of the list brings benefits to personal relationships – including marriage.
- Kingdom focus (days 11-15)
- The second part of the list shifts to focus on how our lives impact the Kingdom of God.
Notice as we begin that this answers two questions people ask often.
- What Scripture says that God is love?
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 1 John 4, the book of Ephesians love, and many more tell us that God is love.
- Who said love is patient love is kind in the Holy Bible?
- As we look at the 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 meaning alongside a 1 Corinthians 13 commentary we see that God Himself describes love as patient and kind!
Spoiler alert: The overarching theme is that love does not insist on its own way. Let that sink in as you begin this study.
1 Corinthians 13 NKJV puts this phrase so poetically, “Love suffers long and is kind.”
(I love the old KJV even though it uses different words like from an ancient world, it flows so beautifully) We hear love is patient at weddings, but understanding what it means requires us to go deeper.
- Patience in love does not lose heart while enduring misfortunes and bearing offenses and injuries of others.
To learn more about how love is patient click here.
1 Corinthians 13 ESV puts love is kind in a beautiful way. “Love does/speaks good when it can.” A word study adds the idea that love does and speaks good things even in the face of injuries.
Learn how love is kind here.
The verb tense of jealous is best explained in two parts.
- Envy – you have what I want.
- Covet – I hate that you have what I want and wish I had it and you did not.
Go deeper about how love is not jealous here.
In this phrase, we see that love does not excessively embellish to put itself on the center stage to make a point. Love lets the facts speak for themselves.
To learn how love does not brag click here.
Love is not arrogant, love considers others better than itself instead of puffing itself up as most important. Right? Love is not prideful.
Learn more about how love is not prideful by clicking here.
Love does not act rude, unseemly, or disrespectfully… ah respect.
Learn more about how love does not act unbecomingly by clicking here.
How does love NOT seek its own? Love does not seek its own comfort, pleasure, or desire above that of those it claims to love.
Learn more about how love does not seek its own here.
This phrase, “love is not easily provoked,” says two things:
- Love does not make the other angry without a reason.
- Love gives up that anger to work toward reconciliation.
Learn more about how love is not easily provoked here.
I learned 1 Corinthians 13 KJV, which says, “love does not take into account a wrong suffered”. Um, I wish I had that superpower! How about you?
To learn how love thinks no evil click here.
Let me say it again, love rejoices in the truth. Love does not:
- take pleasure in doing evil to others
- enjoy seeing evil done to others
- keep a record of wrongs
Read more about how love rejoices in the truth here.
Those first 10 speak to personal things.
Notice now how the list changes to focus on Kingdom things!
This phrase means that love covers with silence or endures patiently – all things. This feels like a difficult choice when there are so many repeated mistakes, but we can trust God to cover us as we cover others.
Read more about how love bears all things here.
1 Corinthians love, our expression of God’s love in us shown toward others through the work of the Holy Spirit of God within us is a love which trusts, believes, and places faith in others regardless of the circumstances.
This is challenging but can be done better when we focus on believing all things of God.
Read more about how love believes all things here.
This phrase means that love has full confidence in someone with a hopeful attitude. Again, you may have to start by having full confidence in God and placing that person in His hands when it’s a struggle.
Read more about how love hopes all things here.
1 Corinthians 13 love endures all things, which means that love remains in a place instead of leaving when it gest hard.
As you work through this list you will notice that each word builds upon the last. Don’t lose heart, because it concludes with a beautiful picture of love – God’s way!
Read more about how love endures all things here.
How can love never fail?
Love never descends from a higher place to a lower place. It is never thrust down or descends from a tall (erect) position to a prostate position.
Love never loses authority. That is God’s love. It always supersedes all in power and authority… it is what draws us in time and time again.
Read more about how love never fails here.
Will You Choose a 1 Corinthians Love For Your Marriage?
Do you ever get a song stuck in your head?
The entire time I was studying about 1 Corinthians 13 love I was remembering an old DC Talk song I grew up with. Luv is a Verb by DC Talk 1992 (listen to the song ~> here). It really speaks well to our topic.
God’s love, that agape love that we could never earn or repay, is what the world needs today. If we can catch it, understand it, and begin to show it towards those in our home first, then others… the world will change!
Which of these 15 powerful ways to show love will you work toward today?
- Rejoicing in Truth
- Bearing All Things
- Believing All Things
- Hoping All things
- Endures All Things
- Love Never Fails
Do You Need To Go Deeper?
This is part of the 9-week Marriage Bible Study –Finding Hope & Joy in Marriage. Through this course, we will explore the 9 Biblical foundations of having a successful marriage in God’s way.
This class will include:
- 10 video lessons
- You can watch live or when you have time
- 9 weeks of personal study
- 5 days each week that should take 10-15 minutes
- A private Facebook Group to discuss the homework and talk through the weekly challenges
- 45 Days of Prayer prompts
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