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1 Corinthians 13 For Moms

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms

Years ago, I came across this adaption of 1 Corinthians 13 by Jim Fowler and it’s been greatly challenging and inspiring to me as a mom.

I’ve shared this poem at the last two conferences I’ve spoken at and multiple attendees requested that I would post it on my site as they were so blessed by it. So I wanted to share it to encourage those of you moms who are feeling weary right now.

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness not godliness.

If I scream at my children when they don’t follow instructions,
get frustrated and fault them for every mess in our house,
and have no grace and love
my children learn that Mom cares more about having things done exactly her way
than about listening to the needs and hearts of her children.

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms

Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present “mommy,”
the taxi-driver to every childhood event,
the counselor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms

Before I became a mother I took glory in having it altogether.
Now I glory in knowing that God’s in control and His grace is sufficient for each day.

All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
And what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters, and markings,
But the greatest of all is the Love
that permeates my relationships with my children.

-adapted from 1 Corinthians 13 by Jim Fowler

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms


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48 Comments

  • Kala says:

    Well, I’m crying now! Love this poem! Thanks for sharing!!

  • amy says:

    Need to print this and read often as I just put the kids to bed with them knowing they had pushed all the buttons today. It does not show a good day hen everyone goes to bed crying.

  • Missy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I really needed this today (and most days!). Why do I constantly need to be reminded of these things?? I love my kiddos more than life itself so why do I let details get in the way our time together? I will be posting this poem throughout my home!

  • LOVE this, so true!!! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  • *tears

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Maura says:

    I like to think that a good adaptation of Proverbs 14:4 would be “Where there are no children, the house is clean, but much blessing comes from having children.”

  • Leslie says:

    Love this poem. It truly inspired me. I would love to share it on my blog if you don’t mind! Craftedbygrace.wordpress.com

  • Mackenzie says:

    Love this, love this!

  • marjanna says:

    I needed to read this so bad. It was a really ruff day. I’m not sure why. I actually got angry with my children today more than once. It just seemed like they would not listen at all. Now I yell fairly often at them and get upset amd ad but I cannot ever remember sitting down and realizing that I was angry at them. My boys are 2 and will be 4 Monday and I have a 10 month old girl. Maybe I just have to much going on right now and that is why. Work, school work, a birthday party, and preparing our home for passover. Please pray for me. And any advice on getting my boys to listen would be greatly appreciated.

    • Siobhan says:

      What fun having 3 under 4 (crazy most of the time I’m sure, but they will love being so close in age as they get older)! My best trick for when the little ones aren’t listening is to have them play alone in different rooms, they will miss each other and want to play nicely together after not too long.

      Also, they are at the perfect age to want to have their own special tasks. Have them help you get things ready for the party and Passover. Have them count silverware, or bring bottles of soda/juice/drinks from one room to another, have them color or do crafts while you get some work done at the table as well. They might love making placemats for each guest out of construction paper.

  • Shauna says:

    Thank you for sharing…needed this tonight.

  • Analisa says:

    Thank you for sharing! What a beautiful reminder.

  • Garima says:

    I am really working on my temper these days, especially with my kids. I am surely improving. But today, i fell short. I made mistakes, i truly regret. A Good reminder. First thing in the morning I am gonna apologize & can I really share this one. I think my friends would love & need this one, too !!

  • Lori says:

    Starting my day off with happy tears. Lovely!

  • Thank you for sharing this. I actually think I used to be better at letting the messes go, but now that I’ve tamed the messy-house monster I find myself less patient with my children for their normal messes. I need to keep this in balance. (I love finally having a clean house, but I want love to be more important.)

  • Marie says:

    Thank you. This really blessed me today and I will be sharing it with my mommy friends.

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you. I needed that this week.

  • WW says:

    The poem was a great reminder for me this morning! Now I am going to pack a lunch, leave the not so messy house and take my children for a picnic in the park this beautiful spring day! Thank You for changing my plans from the daily grind into making a memory with my children today.

  • Carrie says:

    I needed to read that this morning. God always provides the right words at the right time. Thank you so much!

  • sona says:

    Beautiful. Reminds me of the poem on a plaque my grandmother bought for me once called “Children learn what they live”

  • Christine says:

    I’m crying too! needed this today – my precious 3yo foster girl whom we had hoped to adopt is being transitioned to a paternal grmother she’s never known. Our hearts are breaking and i know hers will too. This poem reminds me I need to let go of stuff, be slow to anger and just love on my kids for as long as I’m blessed to have them.

  • Jone says:

    Love this. Thank you so much. I need to paste it somewhere, where I can see it everyday.

  • Meredith says:

    Needed this! In a crazy season of life and my house looks like a bomb hit it. But my children, some laundry, and at least one bathroom are always clean, so the rest will wait!

  • This is one of those days where I started out ‘fretful’ and tired. God has just brought all the RIGHT reading material to me today, and this is just another little piece of gold. Love it.

  • Amy says:

    I needed to read this. I am exhausted today from trying to keep the house in order this week. I am in third pregnancy and have two children ages 5 and 2. My husband is very busy right now. I have been easily irritated and a bit grumpy. This is a reminder to me of what really matters. Thank you.

  • Sharon says:

    Thank you for posting this beautiful poem. I need to be reminded every so often about showing love instead of being grumpy. I’m a light sleeper and so everything wakes me up. Needless to say it’s very easy to be grumpy when you’re sleepy and much harder to be kind and loving. My daughter is 13 and in four and a half years she could legally move out. She’s at a quiet, grumpy, awkward stage and needs more love and kindness than ever. Hopefully I can print this out.

  • Rhonda Wylie says:

    That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • Sarah E. says:

    This was so beautiful and encouraging! I am a bit (ok a lot) OCD when it comes to my house, but have always seemed to balance it pretty well with my boys when they are young. I have 7 boys in the house right now ages 18,17,16,12,11,6&5 (and the worst at 34 ;)) and I am must less tolerable of the pee stained bathrooms, messy bedrooms and piles of dishes. I know boys will be boys and I am totally educated in boy mama life, but I still just want to pull my hair out trying to get help from my boys. I feel like my job as a mother is to teach them good habits for their next stages of life, but it feels like training the puppy is sooo much easier :)! UGH!! Boys!! Anyway, thanks for sharing! I am going to print this out and read it every day (or several times a day).

  • Lisa says:

    May I print this for the moms in my homeschool group?

  • MChang says:

    THANK YOU! I’m so glad you posted this. I am in tears. This poem says it all. <3

  • Brandy says:

    I would love to have a printable copy of this, is there one?

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