Teach your children about forgiveness with these 10 Memory Verses for Kids, discussion activities, free printable Bible Verse Cards, and the Bible Verse Challenge Reward Chart.
Like us, our children often get into arguments or may feel slighted by friends. The social dynamics on the playground are intense and difficult to navigate, especially for kids who are still building their toolbox for handling emotions like anger, jealousy, and embarrassment. Forgiving someone who hurts you and letting go of grudges takes courage. But as Christians, that’s exactly what God calls us to do and he gives us the strength we need to do it! Memorizing these bible verses about forgiveness can help our children learn:
- there’s nothing we can do that God will not forgive if we come to him
- God loves us so much he sent us Jesus to heal our sins
- how God changes our heart when we believe in him
- why it’s important to admit wrong doings and apologize
- how not to keep a grudge
- to let God be the judge of others but still stand up for what’s right
- that we can share the grace God has shown us by being gracious with our friends
Sign up for my Newsletter to get your Free Memory Verse Cards and start a “Bible Verse Challenge”! Try out some of our favorite memory verse games in the Bible Verses for Kids Series‘ first post. And then use the Free Reward Chart to celebrate your child’s progress and success. Hang it on the fridge and keep track of each verse they learn with a stamp or sticker. When their challenge is complete, celebrate their learning about forgiveness with a surprise treat.
10 Memory Verses for Kids that Teach Forgiveness
Reading about forgiveness in these bible verses led to such important conversations about why we forgive our friends even if they’re ‘wrong’ and how blessed we feel for God’s amazing gift in Jesus. We learn so much from each other in these family discussions! Take some time to talk about each verse. What is God trying to say to us in these scripture passages? I’ve included a few ideas and activities to help you get started.
1. Psalm 86:5 “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (NIV)
There’s nothing we could do that God won’t forgive. We can trust God to always be there for us and help us change to make better choices next time. Ask your child how this makes them feel and why it’s important to bring all our mistakes to God.
2. Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (NIV)
Everyone makes mistakes. A fun way to explain the concept of sin to your child is to show them an video of an archer trying to hit the “bullseye” on a target. In archery, “sin” is a word that means to “miss the mark”. For Christians, the “mark” is trying to love each other and live our life like Jesus taught us. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, only God is! But God does want us to admit when we’ve done something wrong and apologize. Ask your child if there are any mistakes they would like to tell God about. Then pray together helping them apologize.
3. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,” (NIV)
God loves everyone in the world. Isn’t that amazing! Each and everyone of us, no matter what we do, or even if we love him back – God loves us. When we mess up – he loves us. There isn’t anything we can do to change that. But when we sin, we get separated from God. That’s not what he wants! He loved us so much he sent us Jesus, so that he could take all our sins away and we could live with God forever. Ask your child why they think sin separates us from God? What does God’s sending Jesus tell us about his love? What would life be like if Jesus hadn’t come?
4. Romans 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
God wants us to not only say we believe in him but to really feel it, deep down in our heart. In this verse, to confess means to share with our friends how much we love Jesus not only with our words but our actions too. Anyone who believes in God this way can be saved and be a part of his family. It’s as simple as that! Ask your child why they think God wants them to tell everyone this good news. What do you think is the most important thing your friends should know about God? Help them come up with ways that they could share their message with a family member.
5. Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (NIV)
Grace is when we get things we don’t deserve. When God saves and forgives us, it’s not because of something we’ve done to earn it. It’s his free gift of love that he gives to us when we believe in him. Why do you think God wants to forgive us, even if we do bad things? Can you think of a time when your parents gave you something you didn’t deserve? How can you show grace to your friends? Make a card together thanking God for this amazing gift.
6. Psalm 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (NIV)
Show your child a picture of the earth and point out the north and south poles. If you travel north on the earth, you will actually start traveling south when you pass over the North Pole and eventually find yourself in the South Pole. But because the earth is a sphere, East and West never meet. You can just keep going East – around and around without stopping. That’s how far God as taken our sin away from us. Get some blue and green play dough and help your child create their own model of the earth.
7. Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged…” (NIV)
In this verse Jesus tells us not to worry about what other people do, just our own actions. Why do you think he said that? It’s easy to point out when someone else is wrong instead of paying attention to when we’re mean or selfish. How can we judge other people when we make mistakes too? Jesus encourages us to show love and compassion instead and let God worry about those other people. Does that mean we can’t tell people to stop bullying or hurting our friends? No, God wants us to stand up for what is right just like Jesus did. Talk to your child about how we can show mercy instead of criticizing – while still standing up for those in need!
8. Matthew 18:21-22 ““Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”” (NIV)
This verse is a little longer but I couldn’t resist including it. Can you think of something that your friend, sister, or brother does that really annoys you? Why do you think God wants us to forgive each other, even when they hurt our feelings? It can be hard to forgive someone again and again, but that is the gift God gives to us. He forgives us even when we are always making mistakes! What can you do the next time you have trouble forgiving your friend?
9. Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.” (NIV)
A grudge is when we stay angry at a person who hurt us. Sometimes we’re so angry we might want to ‘get back’ at a friend who maybe embarrassed us at school. It’s hard not to want them to feel the same way we did! To forgive someone means to let go of all these bad feelings we have against them. Holding onto them doesn’t make us feel better. God wants us to show our friends the same love he gives us when we make mistakes. Ask your child about a time they did something wrong and hurt a friend. Did your friend forgive you? How did you feel? How does forgiving someone help you and the friend who hurt you?
10. Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (NIV)
This verse is part of David’s prayer after he committed some pretty big mistakes. He asks God for his forgiveness and to change his heart so that he would never make these mistakes again. Because of Jesus, when we ask God to forgive us he washes all our sins away and we are given a “clean heart” – a brand new start to be the best ‘me’ I can be. Listen to the hymn that was inspired by this passage and help your child come up with actions for the verse.
FREE Bible Verse Memory Cards and Reward Chart
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