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Love is . . .

Love involves actions as well as words

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider that love is an attitude of the heart.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a leader and one or several readers to read the passage 1 Corinthians 13.4-8, which is about what love is.
  • You will also need several gongs and cymbals and to arrange for a number of children to play them as loudly as possible as the other children come in to assembly.
  • Write out or otherwise display the quote, ‘I like hugs  . . .  I like kisses, but what I love is help with the dishes!’ so it can be seen by all the children.



  1. Ask the children you prepared to make as much of a din as possible with the gongs and cymbals while the other children come in to assembly.
  2. Begin the assembly by putting your hands up to your ears and saying loudly, ‘Stop that racket please!’

    I wanted you to experience this noise because of what we are going to talk about today.

    In the Bible, it says some people can be like these noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. That doesn’t mean they have great loud, booming voices! In fact, they may seem to be very good, even religious, people. They may be people who have great knowledge and understand great mysteries – they may be very clever. They may be people who have incredible faith in their cause. They may be people who give thousands of pounds to the poor and needy.

    The Bible says, however, that if people are doing all sorts of good things without really loving or caring for others, then they are like a noisy gong.

    Ask the cymbal and gongs players to make their noise once again.
  3. It is wonderful to be clever or believe strongly in a good cause or give lots money to charity. The most important thing, though, is to love each other.
  4. A very famous passage in the Bible, which is often read at weddings, describes what real love is.

    Ask the reader or readers to read 1 Corinthians 13.4-8.
  5. Note that this passage doesn’t mention the things we more commonly associate with love, such as hugs or hearts or kisses. Instead, it mentions things such as patience, kindness and not boasting. It talks about the attitude in our hearts towards others.
  6. Show the children the quote - ‘I like hugs  . . .  I like kisses, but what I love is help with the dishes!’ - then ask them the following questions.

    - Who might have said these words?
    - What do they mean?
    - Do you think this might be saying similar things to the passage from the Bible we have just heard?

Time for reflection

Think about the quote. We can show love in many ways.

How can we show real love today?

You may wish to listen to a range of answers.
Dear God, 
Thank you that we can experience love. 
Thank you for those who are patient and kind to us, those who are unselfish in caring for us, those who forgive us when we hurt them and always want the best for us. 
Thank you that you love us very much. 
Please help us to show sincere love to others. 

Publication date: March 2016   (Vol.18 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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