Sunday, July 9, 2017

Kindness Matters

FREE Summer Kid's Devotional Series: Devotional 4 is all about kindness, what it means and how to develop it!  Devotional 4 focuses on one of the most difficult commands to fully apply in the Bible: Be Kind.  This devotional, like the others, is timed for less than 10 minutes, but feel free to slow down if your kids are older or have a longer attention span.  Parents your notes are in italics.  Happy studying!

Kindness Matters 

To Do:

Read Colossians 3:1-4.  Say the verses aloud once or twice. If you've been doing these steadily, you should be getting close to being able to say the verses with some prompting. Then read Colossians 3:12-14.

Questions to Ask: 

*What does it mean to be kind? The answer that will come to a kid's minds is to be nice.  Try to help them dig a little deeper and see that we can be kind even when we are not "nice."  For instance a parent can privately and gently correct a behavior; this is kind although no child finds it "nice."

*Why do you think Paul asked us to "put on a heart of kindness?" Doesn't kindness come naturally? Here my children and I thought of people who seemed to be naturally kind.  Then we talked about the fact that the Spirit of God produces kindness in our lives (Galatians 2:22-24). Even if it is not our "personality" or our "nature", if we are walking in the Spirit we wille learn to be kind!

*Think of a time when someone was kind to you.  What did they do?  Is kindness the same in every situation? One way to work through this question is to explore how kindness is expressed across age groups.  (We are kind to babies when we play instead of ignore them; we are kind to busy young parents when we sit with them and help them at church; we are kind to older people when we visit them and ask about their lives.)

*How does the golden rule help us know how to be kind? (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31)  Be sure and begin by reading the golden rule from both passages. Work together to understand way we usual say it vs. how Jesus worded it.  Allow the kids to brainstorm how considering someone else's perspective or desires allows us to be kind to them.  Think up some silly examples of people trying to be kind but failing: for example a 70 year old who gives his 10 year old grandson Icy Hot for Christmas. Then transition into the fact that we ALL want people to be kind to us.  Fulfilling the golden rule requires us to be kind all the time.  


When I was doing this devotional with my kids and got to question 3, they could immediately think of several people who were naturally kind: friends who are generous, sensitive, and thoughtful, who never snap or snarl.  Do you know that kind of person too?  

Ephesians 4:32 Join us for our FREE Summer kid's devotional series to learn more about kindness!I realize that our view of those people from the outside (even family members we know intimately) may not match their "insides."  In other words, they probably have their unkind moments.  Yet for me, kindness is an on-purpose kind of virtue.  In order to be kind, I need to carefully think through what would be helpful, gentle and sweet and then do it.  

And that's ok!  

If our motive, or our children's motive is to love others, to treat them well, and to please God, it is perfectly acceptable for it not to be "natural."  We know that virtues like patience or perseverance require practice and discipline to develop.   But kindness can be learned too!

So how do we teach kindness to our children?  

1. We should point out kindnesses they can do right now: ending cards, doing chores unasked, visiting a sick friend, sharing their toys with a visitor, telling someone they did a good job, not bragging, or giving way to a tired or cranky sibling. 

2. We can help them reason through what they would want to happen in a given situation.  For instance, "If you broke your arm, what would you wish your friends would do?"  

3. We can enable their kindness.  A dollar or two will buy cards and stamps.  Half an hour will let them visit a sick friend.  Many simple kindnesses are beyond the resources of small children!


  1. Kindess is SO easy to forget in the business of life. Thanks for sharing!
    Morgan from

  2. love this - I want to raise kind kids :) I am going to pin this! xoxo ERIN