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Mercy Cards

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. ~Micah 7:18

As I’m sure most families with children experience, our children often have short memories when it comes to acknowledging the mercy given to them. It’s most apparent when one tattles on a sibling for leaving a dish out when only hours before I cleaned up an item for the accusing child. It’s so ironic how my most disruptive child is so big on rule following when it involves her siblings.

Our journey with our kids has taught us that tangible is best. And so Mercy Cards were born.

I created a crude file box with a divider for each child and Mercy Cards from index cards. Nothing fancy and not Pinterest-worthy.

At the beginning of the week, each child starts with one card.

When I forego a consequence for a reminder (which is most of the time since our kids from hard places cannot handle most consequences) or clean up after someone, I drop a Mercy Card behind their name.

When a child points out someone else’s wrong, I check to see if they have any Mercy Cards. If they do, they pass on the mercy received and drop the issue. This applies to mistakes I make as well 😉

I collect the cards at the end of the week and everyone resets to one card.

I’m hoping we won’t have to have tangible cards for long, but that they will help develop a healthy habit in my children to be quick to forgive…especially about the minor stuff (like cups left on the breakfast table).

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? ~Matthew 7:4

How do you teach your children to forgive freely?


  1. shelleyApril 3, 2014

    tears. just tears. 1) i am not alone in seeing (and passing out, if i am not careful) the unmerciful injustice executed by our siblings. 2) what a beautiful reminder for ALL of us that mercy can be almost tangible. i have a box. i have cards. must work this into existence.

  2. Duck MommyMarch 8, 2014

    I LOVE this idea!! My boys are a little young for this yet, but I have already Pinned it to my (new) Grace-Filled Parenting board – definitely saving this tip for the future.

    Thank you SO much for sharing!!

    ~Duck Mommy

  3. CarlyFebruary 27, 2014

    Wonderful idea! Thank you for this idea, going to start it here and see what happens!

    1. MelissaFebruary 27, 2014

      I’d love to know how it pans out in your family. Keep me posted!

      1. Lisa A Rasinski GreenFebruary 27, 2014

        Me too as we are having the very same issue. Please post a follow-up.

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