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In 1 Corinthians 13:13, we find the most straightforward synopsis of the qualities that define a follower of Jesus: faith, hope, and love. But what do we mean when we talk about biblical faith, hope, and love today? How are we to define these crucial characteristics for our children?

For each week, ask the question over an unhurried meal. Let the children think about it and then offer their own answers. The children should talk more than the parents. Throughout the week, offer the different reasons highlighted and let the children discuss them. (Parents, read through the relevant Bible passages in advance.) Challenge the children to look up other verses addressing the question. Do the same for the following questions each week for the month.


Week One:

What is our faith in God?

Read: Mark 11:22-25, John 16:25-31, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, Hebrews 10:23 and 11:1

  • Faith is trusting in God as Our Heavenly Father — that He made us and cares for us always.
  • Faith is more than simply believing something is true (although of course that is part of it); it is believing in God, following everything He says and trusting that He is always right and doing what is best for us.
  • Faith is an important part of salvation — we can only accept Jesus’ gift of love to us if we believe that He really died for us.
  • When we have faith in God, it changes everything about the way we live our lives — we remember that God is sovereign, instead of worrying about whether things will work out our way.
  • With faith, we can trust God for everything, no matter how small or how big: With God, “nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37), although He sometimes “works in mysterious ways” (Isaiah 55:8-9) so our prayers can be answered in ways that surprise us!

Week Two

What is our hope in God?

Read: Romans 5:4-5 and 8:24-25, Hebrews 6:18-20 and 10:23

  • Hope, in the biblical sense, is a confident expectation and waiting for God to fulfill all His promises — for His words to come to pass and His work to be completed.
  • Hope is for the future — we can know that everything will work out for us in the future because that time is just as much under God’s control as the past and present.
  • Hope isn’t just about waiting for Heaven, but the fact of Heaven provides the foundation for our hope in Christ, because we know He came from there and rules from there and that someday we shall see Him there in His glory; hope gives full meaning to our faith.
  • When we have hope in God, we can face anything that comes our way without fear, knowing that we will come out on top in the end (it always makes any experience much less stressful when you already know how it ends!).
  • Hope reminds us that God’s Kingdom is real, and that everything that happens in the here and now
    only makes sense when looked at from an eternal perspective.

Week Three:

What is our love in God?

Read: 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 4:7-11

  • God’s love is much more than simple feelings of affection; it is the strongest Truth in the universe.
  • Love is commitment — to God and to our neighbor; love leads people to put others first even when they are not “feeling” like it.
  • Love shows itself in both words and actions: love is a whole lifestyle, not temporary emotions.
  • It makes all the difference in people’s lives whether an action is done out of love or not, even if the results of the two actions are otherwise identical — God’s kind of love always reveals itself.
  • Love is primarily unselfish: love cares more about the other than about ourselves, and is willing to sacrifice itself completely — as Jesus did on the Cross, the prime example of God’s Love.

Week Four:

How do we show faith, hope, and love in our lives as believers? 

Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:28, Hebrews 12:1-2, 2 Peter 1:4-8, 1 John 4:12-21

  • Faith is shown by turning to God for guidance in every circumstance, through the Scriptures and prayer, not worrying about sorting out our own problems, but confidently trusting in Him and letting others know why we do so, to share the Gospel with them.
  • Hope is shown by an altered view of life, as a journey towards the Kingdom and not an end in itself, an appreciation of God’s good gifts in His Creation while refusing to condone its fallen acts and desires.
  • Love is shown by placing God’s service above all other considerations: making every word and deed a means of worshipping Him and sharing the Gospel with others.

C.S. Lewis Institute

C.S. Lewis Institute, In the legacy of C. S. Lewis, we develop wholehearted disciples of Jesus Christ who will articulate, defend, share, and live their faith in personal and public life.


COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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