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Beatitudes for Kids (Explained in Simple Terms)

Updated
Teach your kids The Beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

The principles of the beatitudes are such important words. When Jesus gave The Sermon on the Mount, found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters 5-7), he delivered eight blessings. Each blessing provides a sort of “rule” to live by, but the overall meaning is that if we follow these words, we’ll be happy. This is especially true for Christians, although they’re great words of wisdom for everyone.

While the eight phrases are very simple in physical nature, they’re incredibly complex in thought. Kids need something concrete to help them build associations. The ideals of The Beatitudes are the foundation for being a good human, so it’s important to teach them to children in a hands-on way, allowing them to form the necessary connections to make them permanent knowledge.

Below, you’ll find the eight Beatitudes with a kid-friendly explanation for each. You’ll also find an activity or two that will help children develop a clear understanding of how they can apply The Beatitudes to their everyday lives.


8 Beatitudes For Kids

1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

What it Means

When Jesus says “poor,” He means “without.” The first Beatitude tells us Jesus wants us to be humble. His hope is that we will not be braggers or focused on what material items we have, like toys or fancy houses. Jesus wants us to be happy with what we have right now, without wanting more.

Now Try

Make a list of all of the things you are grateful for. You could also try to go a whole day without asking for anything you want, only what you need.

2. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

What it Means

If you’re sad, then be sad. Feelings are a good thing. We’re not always happy. Different things might make us feel sad or guilty, but know that being upset doesn’t last forever.

Now Try

Think about a recent time when you saw someone else feeling sad. Make a card for that person to help them feel comforted and know you’re thinking about them.

3. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.”

What it Means

As the old saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” And, don’t forget, patience is a virtue. That’s what the third Beatitude means. Wait patiently, without creating a fuss, and work toward your goals without whining or complaining.

Now Try

Talk with your grown-up about something you’ve been wanting or something you’ve been hoping to do. That can be your goal. Then ask what you can do to earn that thing or activity. Maybe it’s cleaning your room every day for a week, or it could be listening and following directions without arguing.

4. “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”

What it Means

Jesus wasn’t talking about being hungry or having a growling tummy. He was talking about people who want unfair things to be fixed in the community and around the world. These are called injustices. Bullying and poverty (people not having access to food or safe, clean homes) are examples of injustices. Jesus wanted people to know that if they’re willing to put in the effort to fix the problem, He will also help.

Now Try

Go through your old toys or clothes, and donate some to a local foster care organization or women and children’s shelter. Or you can save some of your allowance to donate cleaning supplies to organizations that help those affected by natural disasters.

5. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

What it Means

God always wants us to forgive and not to hold grudges. This one is simple to understand but difficult to do. We might be upset with our friends or family, but we should not stay mad. We should allow our hearts to forgive. In turn, Jesus will forgive us.

Now Try

When someone says “I’m sorry” or makes an apology, listen to their words and try to forgive them. It might take time, but if you try really hard, you can do it. Sometimes it helps to draw a picture of what made you angry or sad and then crumple it up and throw it in the trash.

6. “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.”

What it Means

Children are so good at listening to God and knowing He’s there for them. God wants us to live like Him and follow his words. It’s sometimes easier for kids to obey God than it is for adults who have seen so many unfair things happen in the world. Stay true to that aspect of being a child and having a pure heart.

Now Try

Find time each day to pray. If you’re old enough to write, keep a prayer journal. If you’re not quite a reader yet, draw your prayers, and keep a journal of the pictures.

7. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

What it Means

God doesn’t want us to be quiet all the time. He’s not talking about that kind of peace. He wants us to be at peace with others — not fighting, arguing, or hurting peoples’ feelings. Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker, and we should be too.

Now Try

Try to go all day without fighting with your brother or sister. Or if you’re really up for a challenge, see if you can be helpful around the house to keep the peace, doing things like cleaning up after yourself.

8. “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

What it Means

Be strong in your love for God. Sometimes, people who don’t understand your faith will question you, and mean people might even make jokes. But just remember, you’re making Jesus proud. The mean words that people say are just words; they can’t hurt you.

Now Try

When you go to church, look around at all the other children. Each time you go, try to introduce yourself to one new friend. Remember, these kids are God’s children, just like you.