What St. Paul might have written to teachers and homeschoolers…
If I lecture and advise with eloquence and authority, but have not love, I am a clanging cymbal falling on deaf ears. And if I plan the perfect curriculum, teaching all manner of knowledge and skills, and instill great discipline so as to reach the heights of excellence, but have not love, I teach nothing. If I spend all my energy, and if I work tirelessly and heroically for the education of my children, but have not love, I accomplish nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love is not annoyed or frustrated; it is not preoccupied or unsympathetic. Love does not insist on “my” time; it is not intolerant of interruptions; it does not criticize, but corrects with gentleness and charity. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends; as for accomplishments, they will pass away; as for talents and skills, they will cease; as for knowledge, it fades. Rather, teach your children to love. For our knowledge is imperfect and our learning is imperfect, but love perfects all virtue.
When you were a child, you spoke like a child, you thought like a child, you reasoned like a child. Now you are a teacher; remember you were once a child, and raise your children with understanding and encouragement. For only with love will you teach how to love. May faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
* Based on 1 Corinthians 13
Mary Cooney is a home-schooling mother of six who lives in Maryland. (Her book, Evangelizing Our Children with Joy, is published by Scepter and available from Amazon as an e-book. Read about it here.)The above article is adapted from one published on her blog, Mercy For Marthas.