The Bible urges followers of Jesus to be gentle. Not only is it a fruit of the Spirit, but it is also a command in Colossians, Proverbs, and other books. Even Jesus describes himself as “gentle and lowly in heart” in Matthew 11:29.
What does it mean to be gentle? Gentleness is similar to kindness, but it involves cultivating a softness of heart toward other people. The Bible gives us several examples of gentleness. Below are 3 Bible stories you can use to help your kids learn about gentleness.
3 Bible Stories That Teach Your Kids About Gentleness
Casting the First Stone
Bible Truth: I can respond with gentleness, just like Jesus!
This familiar story about Jesus gives us a beautiful picture of gentleness, especially when contrasted with the behavior of the Pharisees. One day while Jesus was teaching, the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught in adultery. (Adultery can be a tricky thing to explain to little kids! Ask them if they have heard of it and let them guide the conversation. If they don’t know what adultery is, here are some thoughtful talking points from Ministry to Children.)
The Pharisees wanted to stone the woman, but Jesus stepped in and said “let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Jesus was responding with gentleness toward the woman, and showing everyone there that they were guilty of sinning as well. He wasn’t harsh or mean about it, but rather he led with gentleness and compassion—setting an example for the Pharisees, and for us.
Related Memory Verse: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
The Lord is My Shepherd
Bible Truth: God guides me with His gentle love.
Psalm 23 might be the most famous Psalm in the Bible! It also gives us a beautiful picture of how God is so gentle with us. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Read this Psalm together as a family and ask your kids to identify the phrases that show God’s gentleness.
Related Memory Verse: Try to memorize all of Psalm 23 together as a family!
A Gentle Answer
Bible Truth: Gentle words bring peace.
This is one of the most quoted proverbs from the Bible – “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” It spells out exactly how we should speak to others, and if we look back to the story about Jesus in John 8, we can easily see how he used a soft answer when the Pharisees chose a harsh word.
Read this verse as a family, and then ask your kids to think about a time they responded to a tense situation with a “harsh word.” Then ask them to think about a time they responded with a soft answer, with gentleness. What was the difference?
Related Memory Verse: A tree gives us fruit, [gentle] words give us life. Proverbs 15:4a (ICB)
Continue the conversation about gentleness by watching Minno Church at Home this week or these shows streaming now on Minno: