A gentleness story personalized

Drive time

Tell this story about a beloved stuffed toy that is “injured” through rough play.

Discussion point: We hurt others through our words or actions, but can’t always see the damage.

While you’re driving, or during a quiet moment at home, tell a story that emphasizes the value of treating others gently. Use the plot below, or invent a similar one of your own. Feature a character and a special stuffed animal your child will relate to.

When Jordan’s grandma returned from a holiday in Texas, she brought him a special stuffed animal – one that resembled a wolf. Jordan had never seen such a wonderful stuffie. He loved wolves, and although he had other toy animals, Jordan had never had one that looked like a wolf.

Jordan named his new stuffie “Wolfie.” He took Wolfie to bed with him every night and felt safe when he cuddled Wolfie.

At first, Jordan was gentle with Wolfie, but soon he started treating his new stuffie roughly. If his mom or dad did not read him an extra bedtime story, or if he had to go to bed early, he would throw Wolfie to the floor. “Don’t do that,” Jordan’s parents cautioned, “or Wolfie will get hurt.” But Jordan didn’t listen. Sometimes, when he was feeling frustrated, Jordan would even punch or hit Wolfie.

One day, Jordan had a fight with his sister. While he was still feeling very angry, he went to his room and kicked Wolfie against the wall. But as Wolfie fell to the floor, Jordan noticed a large tear in Wolfie’s side. Wolfie’s stuffing was even starting to fall out.

Jordan called, “Mommy, I’ve hurt Wolfie! Come quickly!” Jordan’s mother came running. When she got to his room, she found Jordan holding Wolfie and crying. She hugged Jordan and said that she would help him try to fix Wolfie.

Together they picked up the stuffing and pushed it back into the large hole in Wolfie’s side. Wolfie looked a little better, but he was still lumpy and torn. Jordan’s mom got out her sewing machine and did her best to fix the tear.

When she was done, Wolfie looked like himself again, but he had a large scar down his side where Jordan had kicked him. Although the hole had been fixed, it was still obvious that the fabric had once been torn.

Jordan loved Wolfie as much as ever and took care to be gentle with Wolfie. Every day, when he saw the scar on his special stuffie’s side, he remembered how important it was to be gentle with his toys and his friends. He didn’t want to cause anymore scars.

The essential truth you’ll want to share with your children is that toys can be repaired or replaced, but when we hurt people, we can’t fix the hurt as easily. When we hurt others through using unkind words or rough actions, we can’t see the pain we have caused in a person’s heart.

Questions for discussion
  • Do you ever hit stuffed toys?
  • Are you ever rough with your toys?
  • Have you ever hit a person?
  • Did you know that hitting can really hurt people and toys?
  • Do you ever speak unkindly to your toys?
  • Do you ever say mean things to your friends or brothers and sisters?
  • How do you think God wants us to treat each other?
Relevant Scripture

Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”