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Practicing Justice and Mercy as a Family

First, do some work yourself

It’s important to have a good understanding of biblical justice before you explore it with your kids. Here are three great resources to start with:

Explore the parable of the good Samaritan

The parable of the good Samaritan provides some of the best teaching on biblical justice and mercy. Here are some ways to use that story as a springboard for conversations with your kids.

  • Read the story from Luke 10:25-37. If your kids are young, using the NirV Bible version can be helpful, since it’s written at a third-grade reading level.
  • Watch this video version of the story with your kids.
  • Ask some “wondering questions” about the story, such as
    • I wonder why the priest and Levite didn’t help the injured man.
    • I wonder what would happen if you found someone who was all beat up and bleeding. How would you feel? What do you think you might do?
    • I wonder why Jesus told this story. What do you think?
  • Talk about the ways your kids could practice justice and mercy in their friend group, at school, and in other groups they’re part of. Ask them, “Where do you see hurt and injustice? How can you be people who don’t ‘pass by’ when others are in pain?”
  • Talk about your local community together. What kinds of needs do people have? Are those needs visible (lack of shelter, etc.), or invisible (loneliness, etc.)? How might your family be like the good Samaritan in the face of these needs?

Volunteer together

Volunteering as a family is one of the most powerful ways to help kids develop a heart for justice and mercy.

  • Look for opportunities that help to eradicate the root causes of injustice rather than applying a bandage to various problems.
  • If you are white, be aware of the temptation to act as a “white savior” by doing things to or for people of color.
  • Commit to some long-term volunteer work as a family so that your kids can see how the work makes a difference over time.