How to teach Kindness to Sunday School Kids

Every kid in the known universe knows they should be kind.

Or at least, most of them do.

But kindness is such a “church” word. We expect a teacher to say “be kind to each other” in Sunday School. It’s as predictable as every 7 days being a Sunday. It’s going to happen.

So how do you explain kindness to kids who know what you are going to say before you even say it?

You tell them to be MEAN to each other instead!!!!

(ok, not really)

Sorry about that…my keyboard didn’t ask my permission before writing that sentence about being mean.

Anyway….

I suggest that you tell a story of kindness, that the kids have never heard before.

And I have a very specific story in mind…

The story of the man whose name no one can spell.

Ready? I’ll try right here, right now…

Mephibosheth.

How did I do?

(checking now…I got it right!!!!!!)
The story of Meph…. Mr M. isn’t a well-known story from the life of David, but it is a POWERFUL example of being kind.

However, you have to understand the context of the story for the power of David’s kindness to be realized.

Here’s the setting:

King Saul has died…he and his son Jonathan are killed in battle.

David is now king of Israel, having been anointed some 15 years earlier, he now ascends to the throne.

And this is where things get a little hairy.

You see, Israel was like most nations in that day…they acted like a bunch of animals. Literally…to this day lions do something very similar.

If a new family rose to power and became king, in most ancient societies, all family members of the previous ruler would be…well…killed.

Sounds incredibly harsh, right?

It was.

The thinking went like this:

If no family members from the former king are around, there is no way they can lead a rebellion and try to overthrow the new king.

Eliminating the former king’s family was a way to ensure the new king would stay in power.

As awful as that is, it is CRITICAL to understanding the story of …. Mr M. (no need to keep spelling his name!!)

You see, Mr. M was related to …. King Saul.

And King Saul had been killed in battle.

And King David, wasn’t a family member of Saul’s.

So everyone assumed King David was going to get rid of people like….Mr. M.

The last thing any king wants are a bunch of people trying to take his throne.

But King David does…what NO ONE expects of him.

Here comes the part about kindness:

He invites Mr. M to the palace!

And cares for him.

And tells him he can eat at the King’s table from now on.

King David promises to look after Mr. M for the REST OF HIS LIFE.

Not only does David not hurt him, he takes REALLY REALLY good care of him.

King David treats Mr. M (still not going to spell it) like HE would want to be treated.

And isn’t that what kindness is?

Don’t we want kids to treat others like they would want to be treated?

(The answer is yes, in case you were wondering)

So the next time you teach on kindness, don’t talk about cookies, or the playground or something.

Talk about a king, who showed incredible kindness, to someone who could do nothing for him in return. Kind David showed kindness to someone who was related to King Saul, the very person who had tried to kill King David years earlier.

That is an amazing story, that kids will love.

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