This family devotional was borne out of wanting Finn to treat his brother well. Overall, he’s pretty gentle and nice to Justus, but every once in a while he’ll snatch a toy from Justus or be a little too rough. We wanted him to be able to think about how others might feel based on his actions. This is a lot for a three-year-old but I was surprised by how much this resonated with him. We’ve referred back to this “do unto others” verse multiple times since discussing it.
“Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.”Luke 6:31
We started off the devotional by talking about something nice that someone else had done for us and how that made us feel. For Finn, we brought up how a friend came over recently and brought him a toy. Or going over to his friend Sarah Kate’s house and how she shared her toys with him. We asked him: how did that make you feel? Did it make you sad or happy when they did this?
We also asked if someone had treated him in a way that made him sad. We couldn’t think of a specific incident, so we asked him if he would like it if someone came and snatched one his toys while he was playing. How would that make him feel? Then we tried to help him connect with how it would make someone else feel when he did those things: if you share your toys, how will it make your friend feel? If you snatch toys, how will that make them feel?
After our discussion, we prayed. Sometimes Finn doesn’t want to pray (and we don’t force him) and sometimes he asks for things to pray about. We’ll say things like, “you could thank God for Justus” or “pray for Grandma to feel better [from the flu].” Every once in a while he catches me off guard with his prayers: he’ll thank God for the “beautiful day and the white puffy clouds” or he’ll pray that Papa will have a good day at work (without any prompting!) and it just warms my heart so much. It makes me think that this must be how God hears us when we pray to him.
I had read somewhere that children Finn’s age are incapable of considering others’ feelings – but I just don’t think that’s true. This verse seemed to resonate with him and he seemed to understand what we were trying to convey. Like I said, we’ve come back to this one almost daily since reading it and I think it’s going to be a staple scripture in our home.
Below is the free printable devotional to go along with this lesson. It includes a memory verse, discussion questions, additional discussion/activity and songs to sing. For more free printable devotionals, prayer prompts, coloring pages and more, check out my free printables section. They are all available for immediate download – no need to enter an email address or code. Also, if you’re looking for some children’s Bible songs to listen to or sing along with, this is a great playlist on Spotify.
If you’re looking for more ideas for family devotionals, this is what we use! Check them out in my Etsy shop.