Choosing Headstone Bible Verses (Parents, Siblings, Spouse)


Having a loved one pass away is never a time of joy, but it can often be a time of hope and love. When thinking about memorializing your loved one with their tombstone finding the perfect inscription is paramount.

Tombstones are intended to be for ever, and you want your inscription to follow suit. 

Every individual person is different in countless ways, and no single inscription can best memorialize everyone perfectly. It’s best to choose the inscription that best suits the individual it is attempting to represent. 

The best bible verse to put on a headstone will reflect the personality of the deceased as well as their relationship with their loved ones and, of course, God. As the bereaved, consider the message you want to remember them by as well as the verse you want the world to best associate with them.

If you are having difficulty considering and finding the perfect inscription, this article might be able to supply you with some examples.

At the very least it should give you some inspiration from which to dig deeper to find your perfect bible verse that will vividly bring back the memory of your loved one each time you read it.

Focusing on the Christian faith

Although there are many faiths in America these days, and the world over for that matter, this article will focus on bible verses and leave other faiths for another article. 

The first step to utilizing this article is to navigate to the section that applies to you.

This article is divided into verses that are selected for Parents, Siblings, Spouse, and (god forbid) Children.

There are also a few extra categories at the end. If you wish, you can skip to the section that applies to the loved one you have lost.

However, because some verses would be great for several of these circumstances, and since I have chosen not to repeat verses in different sections but rather I have chosen the “best” section to place them, you might find your perfect verse in a section that does not apply to your personal search.

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Resources

To make sure that everyone has access to the ideal verse from the scriptures, I have organized all of my selection in a handy PDF which you can download by clicking on the link below:

Please click below to download a free PDF of bible verses

Books

I can really recommend the following books if you need more inspiration for choosing a perfect verse for a headstone, but also just for your own mourning process.

You can actually find this book on Amazon, check out the price and latest availability.

I also found this a very interesting source during my research for this article which is also found on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format, see the latest price and stock here.

“And they said to him, “Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed.” Judges 18:5 

I hope, through this article, you find what you are looking for.

Parents

When laying a loved parent to rest it’s natural to reflect on their life through the experience of this bond as child and mother or father. If this is the case for you, then the following verses will be perfect:

“To live is Christ, and to die is gain. ” | Philippians 1:21

This verse might be a valid selection for a charitable person that lived a long life of giving, and not reaps the ultimate gain of life in the heavens.

“And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. ” | Revelation 20:13

This verse would be particularly applicable to a loved one who worked in the sea. However, it still applied to someone that had a long life to which they did many good things.  

“The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. ” | Revelation 3:21

This verse is good for a lost father but is it particularly great for a father that had a hard life, one that pushed and pushed to adversity to make our lives more comfortable and filled with opportunity.

“Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name.” | Psalm 103:1

This verse instills the feeling of a long life of faith. And would best be found on the tombstone of a person that spent their life in pursuit of faith and lived in the virtues of their faith.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” | 2 Timothy 4:7

This verse speaks of living a full life. Perhaps the life of a parent is a justified example of a full life. If you feel your mother or father lived a full, meaningful life, you might consider this verse.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” | John 14:1

This verse reminds us to trust in God our Father as we did our own parents when we were young and had troubles of the heart.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” | Ephesians 6:4

This verse speaks of the wisdom in a father that grants their children discipline through patience and compassion. If your father was of this nature, you might find comfort in this memory.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” | Proverbs 22:6

This verse reminds us of parents that set their children on the right path and the comfort they have in the afterlife knowing that their children will stay on the path of their guidance.

“I will be a father to him, and he’ll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I’ll discipline him in the usual ways, the pitfalls and obstacles of this mortal life. But I’ll never remove my gracious love from him.” | 2 Samuel 7:14-15

This verse is particularly suitable for a father that was stern but loving. A father that was a teacher above all else and guided with love at the core.

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” | Psalm 32:7-8

This verse speaks of the role of parents in protecting their children. They often welcome grownup children home in times of need and offer a place of love and joy that children can always return to. Although they might be gone now, it is a pleasant memory of what they were when they were among us.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” | Luke 15:20

This verse speaks of the unconditional love a father might have for a son. And the guidance and support that will come for that love

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Siblings

If your brother or sister dies without a family, or you have been asked to choose a bible verse that directly reflects your bond as siblings, then this list will be suitable for you:

“Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. ” | 1 Kings 2:10

This verse is suitable for a lost brother that has now joined the eternal life with his father. It might also apply to a son but I have put it here.

“On that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. ” | Romans 2:16

This verse is quite suitable for siblings as siblings tend to know each other better than anyone else. They know our secrets and love us regardless. They know we are good at heart even if we might not seem so.

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. ” | Psalm 90:12

This verse reminds us that our days or limited but that we don’t all get the same. A sibling of comparable age has gotten less, but we can be reminded to not squander what days we have remaining to us. 

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” | John 15:13

This verse speaks of friends and the sacrifices they make for us. It is said, sometimes, that siblings should be the best of friends, and in many households, they remain so from adolescence onward into adulthood. If you lose sibling was your best friend, you may consider this.

“I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears” | Psalm 34:4

This verse speaks of life that was full of fears, or skeletons in the closet. Siblings are often the closest and privy to the ultimate fears and shortcomings of their brothers and sisters. This verse may speak to you of a once lost but then reunited sibling.

“Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.” | 1 Corinthians 10:24

This verse has a tinge of the “I am my brother’s keeper” in it. It reminds us that we are here to look after each other and that others will look after us. This might be a great verse for a big brother or a protective sister.

“The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” | 1 John 2:10

This verse reminds us that if our lost brother loved us, we can take comfort in his insurance to eternal life. It helps us understand that via familial love we too can find righteousness.

“Let love of the brethren continue.” | Hebrews 13:1

This verse’s simplicity speaks volumes. It tells us that our lost brother, or sister will love us continually and that we may love him so also. 

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” | 1 John 3:16

This verse reminds us that our sibling may have died for us. Perhaps not literally, but certainly spiritually in that, we can live on with their memory and follow their virtues as guidance for our life.

“But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” | 1 John 2:11

This verse reminds us to forgive our brother for their misgiving and failings. As even in death, without forgiveness we may not live full lives. If there is resentment between brethren, this verse may inspire forgiveness that although is late, is still timely. 

Spouse

Saying goodbye, even in the short term, to a spouse is an incredibly difficult thing to do despite the strong faith you may have. Here I have selected a list of verses which can express the bond between a married couple even when one of them has passed into paradise:

“As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.” | Psalm 17:15

This verse reminds of the love of your life, the face of love. We awake each morning and are greeting with the face of love, but no more. It reminds us that when our time has come, we will rejoin our spouse in the afterlife.

“I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. ” | Psalms 23:4

This verse might be suitable for a lost spouse that prepared for their death and left their spouse in a comfortable situation with little to worry about other than grieving the loss.

“But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.” ” | Psalm 49:15

This verse might be great for a loved one that lived a questionable life but was good in the heart. Perhaps they did poorly but always meant well. 

“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” | I John 4:16

This verse again touches on the power of love, perhaps even the power of life long love. Love that trumps all. Spousal love can certainly be of this degree.

“I will guide you in the way of wisdom and I will lead you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, and when you run, you will not stumble.” | Proverbs 4:11-12

This verse touches on the support that spouses usually bring to their better halves. It reminds us of what we have lost, but in a way that comforts us in knowing we can do it alone.

“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself…”| Ephesians 5:28-29

This verse was cut short to better suit our needs but does a great job having done so. It is suited to both a lost husband or a lost wife. It reminds the surviving wife of the love she had in her husband. Also, it reminds a surviving husband of the love he had for his wife.

“There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.” | Proverbs 30:18-19

This verse speaks of the complexity of love. It would be particularly suitable if the husband were a zoologist and perhaps even a sailor.

“For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband…” | 1 Corinthians 7:14

This verse was cut short to fit our needs here. In this form, it highlights the power of our spouse to guide us towards righteousness. It would suit the memorial of either a husband or a wife.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” | 1 Peter 4:8

Here Peter preaches of the power of love to guide us and help us right our wrongs. In remembrance, we can consider the love our lost spouse gave us regardless of our shortcomings.

In death, we can consider the love we had received, and perhaps still give to our lost spouse as a form of guidance for how to live on.

“Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.” | Ecclesiastes 9:9

This verse reminds us of the difficulty of life and the sharing or the toils that a spousal relationship entails. It can remind us of all the hardships spouses pass through in life and honor the support the lost spouse granted us.

Children

It is with a genuine desire that I wish no one has to consider this option, but the death of a child, even in adulthood, is a possible need that I have a duty to address. Here are a list of verses which will help you honor your child:

“And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. ” | Matthew 24:22

This verse brings a memory of life is short, but that the life of a lost child is shorter indeed. We cannot know why they were taken but trust that is was for the betterment of those that remain.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ” | John 3:16

This verse is particularly applicable to a lost son. It reminds us that God gave his son, we too can accept that we have given our son to the eternal life.

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” | Psalm 103:13

This verse might suit a situation where a father has lost his son. It reminds us of the compassion a father might have shown that lost son while reminding us that the Lord will show compassion to those that have faith in him.

“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” | Psalm 90:10

This verse might at first seem suitable for someone that died elderly. But it also speaks of how short all of our days are. And how the longer the life, the more trouble and sorrow we may encounter. It might bring comfort to know that a lost child has only known the innocence of life.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” | Matthew 5:4 

Although this verse does not speak specifically of the loss of a child, it does touch on it. What could be more mournful than the loss of a child?

It encourages us to live on with our loss. There are quite a few of these types of verse but I have just chosen one to illustrate the type and encourage readers to look for a certain one that speaks to them.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” | 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

This verse reminds us that although our lost child had so much to live for, so much more time ahead of them before they were taken, we can take comfort in the thoughts that they will live on in eternal life ever after.

Unspecific Verses

Some verses are quite good but do not speak of specific relatives. These we have put here

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” | Romans 6:4

This verse is a great verse for the tombstone of any lost loved one. It reminds us that after death, we have a life with Him to look forward to. 

“Do everything in love.” | 1 Corinthians 16:14

This verse is suitable for any lost one that was unselfish and ever-loving. It reminds us of their character while reminding us to follow in their example. 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God [a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” | John 14:1-4

This verse reminds us that there is infinite space in the kingdom of God and that all those who were good, will find a place therein. It is quite suitable for the loved one that was not particularly faithful but was good at their core. 

Those That Remain

The above verses were all selected with the personality, characteristics, and circumstances, as they relate to, of the loved one that has passed. The concept was to select a verse that best described or encapsulated the lost one as near as possible. It was a testament to them. 

Although this idea is just, there is an alternative to consider. The tombstone grants the living the ability to look back on those they have lost for remembrance, but, perhaps, also for inspirations. 

Those that are gone, may not be aware of what is placed on the tombstone and perhaps it might be advisable to place verse that, instead, inspire the living. 

Here are a few verses that are geared toward inspiring the living to move on and get closer.

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” | Hebrews 11:1

This verse reminds us that that hope endures and that there are many surprises left in life. Life is worth living, and those of us fortunate enough to survive the loss of a loved one should not take life for granted.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” | Exodus 20:12

This verse reminds us of the importance of honoring our parents. How better to pay them the final respects than to remind everyone to honor their parents.

“I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he lives.” | John 11:25

This verse reminds us when we believe in the Lord, we are granted life eternal. Perhaps, though our belief, we might aid the lost in finding life eternal.

“The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.” | Proverbs 10:1

This verse might be found on a father’s or mother’s tombstone, but it speaks to the son (or daughter) that remains. It reminds him to aim for wisdom and to be wary of foolishness. 

“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” | John 14:19

This verse reminds the living to continue to live on, in the comfort of knowing that the gone are living on in the afterlife. It grants the grieving some measure of comfort that might assist in gaining closure.

“The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.” | Proverbs 23:24

This verse reminds the “sons” that remain to live lives that make their fathers proud. When we think of our lost father, we can be reminded to be righteous.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” | Revelation 21:4

This verse might be great for a lost parent, but it is quite suitable for offering comfort to the mourners that remain. Its hope is that those that survive live life onward. 

Engraving a headstone

Of course, when you have found that perfect verse, hopefully, one from my list, you will need to have it engraved on your monument of choice.

The first step will be choosing the headstone, and if you haven’t done this yet, then I would really encourage you to read my article “What Does A Headstone Cost? (Funeral Homes, Online, Diy)“.

There are many things to consider when it comes to engraving a headstone and to make it easier for you I have written an entire article on this topic full of tips and things that most people don’t even know about. You can read it by clicking here.

Final words

Although it is not possible to supply a verse for every individual, nor every verse that relates to mourning, we have tried to touch on a variety of verses to act as inspiration for finding the perfect verse for your lost loved one. It may take time to find, and require deep digging, but finding the perfect verse is a worth the effort.

“And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. | 2 Thessalonians” 3:13

Note: These bible verses have been chosen after considering the teachings of the catholic church, American Baptist Church, Presbyterian Churches (USA), The Assemblies of God and other denominations.

You may also like to look through my other articles which are dedicated to Bible verses and quotes, found below:

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Quotes For Life Death % Loss Vol. I

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