If you’re watching the news and keeping up with current events, you’re probably struck by the brokenness of our world. The world has always been broken, but right now the brokenness and sadness are on full display for all to see.
I’ve been struck by the brokenness, but also have been wondering… what do I do about it? How do I respond? How can I help? How do I help my boys grow up to bring the healing of the gospel to a broken world? How do I teach them to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God?
I’m listening, learning, and praying, especially regarding my Black brothers and sisters. I also want to create a culture in my home where my kids not only love Jesus, but love and respect others. There have been many great posts, resources, helps, book lists, movies, etc. recommended elsewhere that we’ll utilize as a family in coming months. In this post I’d like to give you two NEW activities (and a FREE printable!) about showing Jesus’ kindness to ALL people.
Activity #1: The Kindness of Jesus
Prepare: Bible or Bible storybook, paper and coloring supplies
Say: We’re going to look at some Bible stories and see how Jesus cared for people that everyone else didn’t care much about.
Do: Read these accounts from the Bible or Bible storybook (or briefly tell the story) and then discuss. While you introduce each story and discuss it, have children draw a picture of the person or people Jesus was showing kindness to.
- Samaritan Woman (John 4)
- Lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
- Gentile woman (Matthew 15:21-27)
- Zacchaeus (Luke 19)
Discuss: Who did Jesus show kindness to? Who were the people in the story who were not being kind? (If this isn’t obvious in the story, talk about how certain people were looked down upon and why.) How did Jesus show kindness and love? Do you think this made Jesus popular or unpopular? When you show kindness, does it make you popular or unpopular? Does that make a difference in whether you choose to be kind or not?
Say: By ourselves, we don’t want to be kind. We are born wanting to look out for ourselves first. But when you believe in Jesus, he changes your heart to help you show his kindness to others. (Read Ephesians 4:32.) Because Jesus is kind, we can be kind too.
Respond: Pray and ask God to help you show Jesus’ kindness always, not just in the times when it’s popular or comfortable. Ask God to show you people who need his love. Write down some ideas of someone you could show God’s kindness and love to this week as a family.
Activity #2: Be Kind! Bible Game
Prepare: Bible, Be Kind! Bible Game cards, “Love One Another” song by YancynotNancy (There’s a music video of this song on YouTube that’s FREE for family use.)
Say: What does it mean to be kind? We’re kind when we smile at people, when we help them, or when we use friendly, helpful words instead of mean ones. We’re going to play a game. We’ll take turns picking a picture and thinking about ways to be kind in different situations. We’ll take turns grabbing a card and thinking about ways to be kind in different situations.
Do: Prepare the Being Unkind/Kind cards ahead of time and put them in a container. Have children take turns grabbing cards from the container and showing or telling what kindness or unkindness can look like in each scenario. If the scenario is unkind, have the children brainstorm ways to fix it by showing kindness instead. After each turn, shout “Be kind to one another!” together.
(You can pretty easily make up your own cards with scenarios of kindness and unkindness, or you can download and use these FREE Be Kind! Bible Game cards that are ready to print and play! Here’s what they look like. Click here to download them.)
Say: Those are just a few ways that we can show kindness to others as we live our lives. But we show kindness because Jesus showed the greatest kindness ever to us. (Read Romans 2:4.) How did Jesus show kindness to us? (Discuss how he left Heaven to become a humble baby, he lived a perfect life, he didn’t have to come to earth, he didn’t have to die on the cross but he did, etc.) When we truly understand Jesus’ kindness to us, it should lead us to repentance. Repentance is turning to Jesus and away from your sin. Jesus’ kindness helps us see how wonderful he is and how sinful we are. Because of Jesus’ kindness to us, he wants us to show his kindness to others.
Respond: Take this opportunity to talk with your kids about whether they have believed in Jesus yet. Continue to encourage your children to show Jesus’ kindness at every opportunity and create opportunities for them to do so. Listen to “Love One Another” by YancynotNancy. (Please note: The YouTube video of this song is licensed for family use only. To purchase a video license to use this song in a church setting visit worshiphousekids.com)
A Few More Ideas…
I hope and pray many will be able to use these NEW ideas to talk with kids about the importance of showing God’s kindness to ALL people. There are also a couple more ideas I want to make you aware of.
Our first book, Enjoying God My Creator!, includes several activities to teach children about what being made in the image of God means, and also activities to help them delight in the variety of people God has made. Download it HERE for your FREE copy! Look for the activities called, “Delightful Differences” (page 27) and “Mirror Image” (page 25) specifically. There’s even a video of “Delightful Differences” from YouTube.com/kidsenjoyingjesus that you can share with kids in your home or Sunday School.