In a world that tells our kids that they only need to think about themselves – we long to teach our children what it means to give, what it means to be servant-hearted, and what it means to be selfless.
I believe these are lessons we are all, as adults, still striving to learn ourselves. In fact, you should be delighted to know that just the other day, I was as selfless and servant-hearted as can be. I then proceeded to throw a tantrum because no one recognized how kind and wonderful I had been. How dare my children not pat me on the back or give me a loving round of applause for my constant selfless acts of bending-over-backwards kindness toward them?!
Selfless? Sounds more like I was being self-absorbed, self-motivated, and self…self…selfish! I obviously still have so much to learn.
So how do we teach our kids to be humble and servant-hearted? And how do we (the wise and wonderful grown-ups) learn to die to ourselves?
I believe we do this by looking outward. By looking to the needs of others. By stopping the focus on ourselves and instead, focusing on truly loving those around us.
(By the way, Jesus never threw a tantrum because he wasn’t being properly appreciated for his selfless acts. Not one time. I would do well to remember this.)
I find that each time I serve someone in my family or in my church or community out of true, selfless love, I am so enriched by the experience that I can’t help but be drawn closer to God. This is what I want my children to learn and understand: That service to others is a glory to God. That this world is not our home, and we are not called to be content and comfortable, but to selflessly love and to serve. That loving on others brings pure joy that can only be achieved when we follow Jesus’ servant-hearted footsteps.
I believe the best way we can learn to serve selflessly and teach our children to serve selflessly is to work at it side by side. How ridiculous is it for me to put my kids in front of a DVD so that I can have the time to work on a ministry I’m involved in? How silly is it that I would busy my kids in another room on an act of kind service while I head to the computer to get some writing done?
Admittedly, this has to happen sometimes. But what if, the majority of the time, we all work together on ministries as a family? What if we talk together, pray together, plan together, and execute together various ministries that God has given us? In doing so, we learn together, grow together, make beautiful memories together, and slowly but surely, become selfless servants…together.
I have more to share on this topic – and I have a very exciting ministry project announcement that I’ll be writing about next week! In the meantime, let’s reflect together on how we each serve within our families. This looks different for each family, depending on your season in life, how old your kids are, and the circumstances going on around you. But I believe each family can bless others in so many different ways! So share!! What do you and your family do to bless and love on others?