I don’t know if it’s a girl thing, but we’ve got a case of the whiiiiines in my house.
My daughter is four. Her two older brothers certainly had issues at this age, but they were mostly involved destruction and throwing epic temper tantrums.
The whining though? The scope of it is new to me and it just blows my mind.
The other night I was exhausted from constant speech correction and was lamenting about it to my husband. (If you’ve never been in a logic match with a preschooler, I hope you appreciate your life). As I worked through my frustration, I realized that I was lacking an essential piece of the parenting puzzle.
Don’t get me wrong; my kids know their Bible stories well. It’s just the practical application part that we can slack on. This was further evidenced by the fact that my daughter recently said something along the lines, “God says it’s my turn.”
So we’ve either got a prophetess or I need to be a little more grounded, right?
I’ve learned that discipline just goes so much better when we rely on God’s Word rather than our own logic and incomplete wisdom.
10 Bible Verses for Kids To Improve Behavior
All verses taken from the NIV translation.
I decided to round up several Bible verses for kids that are behavior-focused so that I can be more on my game. And then I thought, hey, why not share the love? Because certainly I’m not the only who needs a little backup, right? These verses can apply to any age, but they are easier to understand for kids ten and under. They are also fun to memorize and if desired you can add simple crafts or object lessons.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
One of the first behavior-related words we taught our kids from a young age is “obey.” I’ve noticed that a lot of parents have shied away from using it, perhaps because it sounds a little, I dunno, authoritative? They use “listen” a lot instead.
But listening and obeying are two different things, and it’s important that our kids know that difference. And also as importantly, this verse says “so that it may go well with you,” meaning that when they obey their parents it is for their good.
On Positive Attitude
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky…
With kids you can focus on the first part of the verse and refer to it often! It’s a powerful and fun reminder to think about being like shining stars (e.g. crafting opportunity).
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Another pretty straight-forward lesson here. This is a handy one to remember whenever someone is needing to be a little more grateful. It can also prompt you to start listing things that make you want to rejoice (handy for adults too).
Proverbs 24: 17–18
Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,
or the Lord will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from them.
You might need to explain this one a little bit, but I think it can be useful when dealing with sibling rivalry or even with friend problems. If we aren’t supposed to gloat over enemies, how much less should we even think about doing it over people we naturally care about!
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Boys especially like this one. Even though it might be a little scary, I believe it’s important to talk about spiritual warfare with our kids from a young age. They’re smart and they understand it, especially when it’s so vividly illustrated. Once we made cardboard weapons in order to illustrate the passage even further.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…
I’d be remiss to leave this one out. I probably refer to this scripture more than any other because it is simple and contains a lot of helpful positive behavior words that kids can focus on.
We also happen to love this video.
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
This is another very helpful verse when trying to prevent sibling rivalry and fights. When they start to act up, ask them if they are being gentle with one another.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Do your kids interrupt each other constantly or is that just mine? This is a way to diffuse a situation and prevent it from escalating to a full out match of rage.
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
The whole Sermon on the Mount is full of great teaching material, but this can make a very simple but effective object lesson if you act it out. Roman soldiers in the first century could force people to carry their loads for them for up to one mile, and the Jews hated the Romans. So the fact that Jesus said this would have struck a nerve indeed. I love Elizabeth Thompson’s idea for a family devotional on this verse here.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I couldn’t leave the Golden Rule off this list. When you can’t think of anything else, go back to this verse and it usually applies.
As I said, I put this list together for me, so now I’ve got to get busy so our family can apply these verses to our own lives. If you’d like a printable download of this list, you can grab it from my free resource collection for moms at ginampoirier.com.
Do you use scripture when you’re addressing your kids’ behavior? What are some of your favorite verses?
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