How can we teach kids to value all people? The Bible says much about the value of life and loving those around us. In fact, the very first chapter has the foundational reason for why we should teach kids to value all people, where it says in Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image…” Just by being human all people automatically have the image of God, which means that to show respect and love towards others is to show respect and love towards God.
Unfortunately, mankind is sinful and full of prejudice. Here’s how to talk to children about the 3 ways kids judge others and to value all people equally—guarding their hearts against prejudice. God tells us to respect, care for, and view each other like He does. Help kids get over common obstacles to seeing others as God sees them.
Teach Kids to Value People Despite Their Status
It’s important to help kids know that all people have equal value, despite what others or the world might tell them. In James chapter 2, believers are warned not to look down on other people or show favoritism based on wealth or social status. It’s easy for kids to notice differences in clothing, hygiene, or looks as something “other” or less than what they’re used to. However, it’s important to frequently remind kids that those things are superficial, and have no effect on the person’s heart or value as a human being.
We need to constantly fight the media message that wealth or beauty gives a person more value. So, the next time a child comments on a person’s clothes or appearance as strange, use these conversations as teaching moments to build a habit of looking past outward status to see people as God sees them—wholly loved and valued.
Teach Kids to Value People Despite Their Pride
Another big reason we might be tempted to value others less is because of our own pride. God tells us in Philippians 2:3 to consider others as more significant than ourselves and to do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit. In fact, often when we judge others out of pride or try to paint ourselves as more superior, really it’s just an attempt to hide from our own secret insecurities.
To help your kids combat belittling others in an attempt to feel superior, instead point to the creativity of God. He is the wonderful Creator who made each person unique—including their personality and talents. Remind kids that their talents are gifts from God, not something that comes from their own strength, while it is our differences that make each of us special in God’s eyes. Encourage kids to praise God for the different gifts they see in others, and to value all people and their talents as equal to their own.
Teach Kids to Value People Despite Their Behavior
Just like how we might judge others out of pride and our insecurity, sinful behavior is often closely linked to how a child secretly views themself and whether they’ve received God’s love and forgiveness. Do your kids know how to love and value all people, even when those people act wrongly towards them? While we don’t want our children to approve of bad behavior, it’s important that we teach kids they can still value and love those who don’t please God or are difficult to get along with.
To do this, help your child brainstorm practical ways they can love difficult people, including soft responses to aggressive comments like: “I’m sorry, are you having a bad day? Is there anything I can do to help?” Pray often with them for a heart that feels compassion instead of anger, and encourage them to pray themselves before responding to difficult people.
While valuing all people equally despite how they may treat us is challenging at times, help kids learn that we can do it with a grateful heart when we remember how God values us in spite of our own unlovable ways.
A Life Transformed
As just one example of how loving others despite their behavior can change lives, enjoy this short video from Child Evangelism Fellowship, A Life Transformed, about how a Good News Club teacher impacted an unruly and financially-disadvantaged child in her after-school club. Because of the love of Jesus and this Good News Club teacher, both this boy and his mother were finally able to understand their incredible value in God’s eyes.
By teaching children how to value all people equally and avoid the 3 ways kids judge others, together, our families can have the privilege of watching God draw more people to Himself as we learn to value others like He does.