Character Focus: Love
Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Galatians 5: 22-23)
In Philippians 3:13 Paul states, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it…” That is what comes to mind when I think about character development. I am not a perfect person. Nevertheless, we should always strive to improve our own character and the character of those that we interact with.
The scripture provides a detailed description of what love is and what it is not. In 1 Corinthians, Paul says that love is patient, kind, rejoices with the truth, protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. On the other hand, Paul also explains that love is not envious, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, never fails, and does not delight in evil. Loving teachers demonstrate these characteristics.
Loving your students can be difficult. With God, one can be better equipped to love students unconditionally. However, there can be difficulty in loving a student that is continually disobedient, dangerous, and/or disruptive. A student that is continually disruptive takes patient love. A student that is dangerous takes protective love. A student that is disruptive takes love that perseveres. All the while, a loving teacher will not be rude, fail to protect, nor will they keep a record of wrong. As Christian teachers, we are to love our students with our head, hands, and heart. Paul closes I Corinthians chapter 13 by stating, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Love is the character trait that encompasses all the others. One that practices love is also developing the character traits Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Now go, and choose to be a loving teacher.
Dr. Nathan Herzog