I hope you enjoy this two part devotional designed for ages 4-8 to teach your children how to have a forgiving heart! Read the italic section or paraphrase with your children to fit their age level. Click here for the printer friendly version of this devotional.
Introduction: Jesus has the most beautiful heart of anyone in the whole world! He shows great character, like being kind and helpful to others. Can you name some other character traits of Jesus? We want to be like Jesus and have great character too!
Define Forgiving: Today we are going to learn one of His character traits. Jesus is forgiving! Forgiving means that when someone hurts our feelings or is mean to us, we don’t stay mad at them. We tell them we forgive them and we love them anyway.
Give Examples: Can you think of a time when someone hurt your feelings and you forgave that person? Was it hard to stop being angry?
Learn from Jesus: Let’s read in the Bible how Jesus has a forgiving heart, so we can learn from Him.
Luke 23:33-34 (look up in Bible or children’s Bible with visuals for younger kids)
“When they came to the place called the Skull, they (the soldiers) crucified (killed) him (Jesus) there, along with the criminals (bad guys)—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them (the soldiers), for they do not know what they are doing.”
Who did Jesus forgive in this story?
What were the soldiers doing to Jesus?
Would it be hard to forgive someone who was hurting you like that?
How do you think Jesus was able to forgive the soldiers?
Summary: Jesus forgave the soldiers and He forgave us when He died on the cross. If Jesus can do that, then He can help us to forgive others too!
Review: We are learning about Jesus’ beautiful heart and how He is forgiving. What does it mean to forgive? Do you think God wants us to forgive every time someone hurts us?
Bible Verse: Let’s read a verse to see what the Bible says about forgiving.
Colossians 3:13: (read from your Bible) “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
According to the verse, why should we forgive others?
How did Jesus forgive you?
Scenarios: I am going to give you some scenarios, and let’s see how you can be forgiving in each situation.
Your brother asks to borrow your favorite game. He accidentally breaks it and tells you he is sorry. What should you do?
Some friends at school are teasing you about your hair cut. You feel badly and tell them you don’t like that. What else should you do?
Your dad tells you he will take you bowling on the weekend, but then he ends up having to go on a trip for work, and you are upset. He tells you he is sorry and will take you when he gets back. What should you do?
Your cousin is playing ball with you and accidentally hits the ball right in your eye. It hurts so badly you scream. He tells you he is sorry and didn’t mean to do it. What should you do?
1. Click below for a video to help your kids practice apologizing and forgiving others.
(practice throughout the week)
2. When your kids have a hard time forgiving others, have them go to their room and pray. Tell them to give their anger to God and ask Him to fill them with love for that person.
3. Memorize Colossians 3:13 with your kids. Click here for a link with a tune. When we memorize God’s Word, it helps us remember to follow His ways!
To read my post, Three Ways Teaching Our Children Forgiveness Demonstrates the Gospel, click here.
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