Goodness can be tricky to explain to kids because it’s one thing to be “good” and it’s another thing to have a spirit of goodness. Acting “good” flows out of the spirit of goodness, which is a fruit of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5:22. Goodness is the rightly-ordered motivation behind our desire to act well, and it prioritizes what God desires: love of others, rightness, justice, and mercy.
As parents, we desire for our kids to behave and “be good,” but cultivating a spirit of goodness is less about a behavioral outcome. We cannot disciple toward goodness, but we can cultivate a desire to do what is right, good, and just in our children.
Scripture is full of examples of goodness through stories that can help your kids understand what goodness is and why we should grow in it. Here are 3 Bible stories about goodness to share with your kids:
3 Bible Stories to Teach Your Kids About Goodness
2 Chronicles 29
Bible Truth: Following God inspires goodness.
In the long line of evil kings in Israel and Judah, King Hezekiah stands out as one of the only good kings. He showed goodness through his actions and decrees, and his goodness was rooted in his love for God. In 2 Chronicles 29, Hezekiah became king and reopened the Lord’s temple, cleansed it, and commanded his people to worship God again. Verse 2 says, “he did was was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done.” Hezekiah committed himself to the Lord. He said, “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel” “(2 Chronicles 29:10). Out of his love for God, Hezekiah made choices and decrees that led all of the Israelites to worship God again. His good actions were caused by his heart that loved and honored God, a heart that was full of goodness.
Related Memory Verse: “For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.” 2 Chronicles 30:9
Bible Truth: Goodness leads to right and just actions.
Esther, a Jewish woman, became queen! Her husband King Xerxes didn’t know she was Jewish, and his evil associate Haman planned to kill all of the Jews. Esther had a choice: she could stand up for what was right and risk her life to protect God’s people, or she could ignore their plight and stay safe. Esther did the good and right thing: she told the king, and he listened to her and the Jewish people were saved. Esther’s goodness led her to do the right thing, and God saved his people through her actions.
Related Memory Verse: “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Ruth 4:14
Read it in the Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids: Brave Queen Esther, page 172
Continue the conversation about Esther with these Minno episodes:
The Good Samaritan
Bible Truth: Loving your neighbor is an act of goodness.
Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan to share with his followers what it means to be a good neighbor, to “love your neighbor as yourself.” In the parable (a short story Jesus told to illustrate a point), a man was attacked by robbers and left to die. A priest and Jewish man both passed by, but a Samaritan stopped to help the man. (Jews and Samaritans were enemies.) The Samaritan took the beaten man to an inn and paid for his care, which was an act of goodness, shown by the mercy and justice the good Samaritan showed the stranger.
Related Memory Verse: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Continue the conversation about the Good Samaritan with these Minno episodes: