Training Our Kids to Serve with Joy
The picture above is my soon-to-be nine year old son, joyfully taking out the trash on our last day of Thanksgiving vacation at the beach. I was going to take it out, but he stopped me and asked if he could do it…by himself, of course! My wife and I are so pleased with the young man our son is showing signs of becoming. We are grateful to God for him and for the family and friends that make up the wonderful community of folks helping us to raise him well. Seeing him so eager to take out the trash last week, several times, really got my wheels turning as I prepared for my monthly Parenting 101 interview on WAFB this week. This is a special season where there is still at least some focus given to the King of Kings, Jesus of Nazareth. Philippians 2:1-12 makes it clear that to be a follower of Christ is to be an imitator of Christ, and to be like Him is to become a servant above all else. So, what better way is there to celebrate the Christmas season than to model the Way of Christ to our children? Here are a few thoughts that I hope will help you raise kids who have a joyful spirit of serving others in their daily lives.
- Kids are more likely to follow your example than your instruction. Be sure your example and your instruction line up with one another.
- Be eager and joyful about finding your own opportunities to serve your family and others in your local and global community.
- Show a willingness to offer acts of service in ways that may seem dirty or thankless. What a powerful witness to your children!
- Share appreciation to your children, spouse, and others who serve you, even in small ways. Make a point of thanking folks in service industries by name, such as at grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations. Your kids are watching and listening.
- Find some special ways to serve others during the Christmas season. Check with your church, friends, family or one of these websites for ideas to get your whole family involved in Christmas service opportunities: www.kidsforcommunity.org , www.volunteermatch.org