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A Healthy Heart

The story of David and King Saul

by Alexandra Palmer

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider that having a healthy heart includes how we behave, feel and treat other people.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (A Healthy Heart) and the means to display them. Make sure that you use Slide Show mode so that you can cycle through each element separately.

  • Have available the YouTube video ‘David and Saul’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 4.16 minutes long and is available at:

  • You will need to know the following background information about the story of David and King Saul.

    King Saul was a bad king, so David was secretly anointed to be the future King of Israel. However, David didn’t become king for another 15 years. His victory over Goliath made him popular with the people of Israel, which caused King Saul to become bitter and jealous.

    The YouTube video focuses on David and how he was kind to Saul even when Saul was being mean to him. In the Bible, David was known as a man after God’s own heart due to the way he respected Saul and did everything that God wanted him to do.


  1. Ask the children to point to where their heart is.

    Ask the children, ‘How can we keep our hearts healthy?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Suggestions will probably include exercising, not smoking, eating healthily and so on.

  2. Point out that having a healthy heart is more than exercise and eating well; it is also about the way we behave, feel and treat other people.

  3. Ask the children if they have heard any Bible stories about David. The most famous story is probably David and Goliath. Briefly summarize the story, available at:

  4. Explain that you are going to show the children a video that tells a bit more of David’s story.

    Show the YouTube video ‘David and Saul’.

  5. At the end of the video, the narrator says, ‘David was a man after God’s own heart.’ This is because of how David treated Saul. David did everything that God wanted him to do.

  6. Ask the children, ‘How can we have a healthy heart like God’s?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  7. Show Slide 1 and click once to show the first element: H is for Happy.

    David was happy and had hope in God even when things seemed to be going wrong. David understood that in every situation, he could come out of it feeling grumpy, angry or bitter OR he could come away knowing that he had learnt something important. In all situations, he had a choice to make about his feelings and how he would behave: bitter or better.

  8. On Slide 1, click again to show the second element: E is for Empathy.

    Empathy means trying to understand how people feel when they are upset, happy, sad or even angry. In the Bible, David wrote a lot of the Psalms, which are like the Bible’s songs. In these songs, it is clear that David understood good and bad situations and how people feel when things go well and not so well.

  9. On Slide 1, click again to show the third element: A is for Apologize.

    When David was King of Israel, he knew that when he had done something wrong, he should apologize or say sorry to God and to other people.

  10. On Slide 1, click again to show the fourth element: R is for Respectful.

    In the video, we saw that David respected King Saul even when King Saul’s jealousy led him to be mean to David. David even had the chance to kill Saul when he was hiding in the cave, but he refused to do it because he respected Saul as the King of Israel. David also respected God’s decisions even when they didn’t go his way.

  11. On Slide 1, click again to show the fifth element: T is for Trust.

    David trusted in God from early in his life. We see this in the story of David and Goliath, and in the way David trusted God’s promise that one day he would be king, even though he had to wait more than 15 years before the promise came true.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to look for the word ‘HEART’ on the slide.

Remind them that having a healthy heart isn’t just about exercise, eating well and not doing things to harm our bodies. Although these things are important to our physical hearts, we need to remember that the way we feel on the inside and the way we behave and treat others matters, too.

- H is for Happy. If we are to have a healthy heart, we must tell people how we feel. If we’re feeling cross, sad or angry about something, we should make sure that we tell someone who can help us sort out the problem.
- E is for Empathy. Being able to understand how our friends are feeling is an important skill. If we can learn to do this, it will help us to become much better friends.
- A is for Apologize. Saying sorry when we have made a mistake can sometimes be difficult. However, it is something that we must learn to do. It makes for a happier school if we can say sorry to our friends. God always forgives us when we say sorry.
- R is for Respectful. The Bible lists the Ten Commandments, which are God’s rules for living a good and healthy life. One of those rules is about respecting the adults who look after us, like our mum, dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles. However, we can also show respect to everyone we meet by treating them well and in a way that we would also like to be treated.
- T is for Trust. Being a trustworthy friend is a great thing to be. Just like David, Christians trust in God during the good and bad times in their lives. They believe that he will always be there to listen to their prayers and to help them.

Pause to allow time for thought.

You may wish to lead the children in thought by asking the following questions.

- Are you happy or sad?
- Do you need to speak to someone about the way you feel?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Do you show empathy to other people?
- Could you listen to people more closely and look out for others who appear sad?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Is there anyone we need to say sorry to?
- If someone says sorry to us, do we forgive easily or hold a grudge?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Are we respectful of others?
- Do we try to make people feel good or are we unfriendly or even unkind?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Do people feel like they can trust us?
- Can we be more trustworthy this week?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Thank you for the story of David and the example of how to have a healthy, happy heart.
Thank you for the times when we can empathize and understand how our friends feel.
Thank you for the people who look after us when we are sad or struggling.
Please help us to respect others.
Please help us to be people who can be trusted.
Please help us always to be willing to say sorry and to forgive.


‘Great big God’, available at: (3.00 minutes long)

Publication date: May 2019   (Vol.21 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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