Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:10-11
I do a lot for my kids. I serve them. Because I love them.
I love God so much more!! I want to serve Him too and I want to teach my kids that serving God is so much more than just writing a check and putting it in the offering baskets. We serve not out of guilt or duty, but because we love.
I want my kids to learn serving is a way of life. I am looking daily for opportunities to serve and share. Most of the time, we serve our family, neighborhood and friends. When we are out, we are looking for where God is working and join in. I try and take every opportunity we have to get out there are serve a local ministry because I want to expose the kids to as much ministry as possible. This is not easy with all of the activities and schoolwork expected of my kids! Sometimes it is hard work to get them there so they can be blessed to be a blessing.
Last week was one of those times. We had a fieldtrip to the Children’s Hunger Fund warehouse. We put on our hairnets and gloves and filled Food Paks that are distributed to local churches full of needed food. They are literally sent all over the world. Most recently to Ebola-stricken Liberia. They in turn deliver them to those in need in Jesus’ name. What a blessing it was to hear firsthand what the ministry is doing! Incredible!
Why do we make such an effort to expose our kids to serving?
1. We want them to love God!
Because He has redeemed us and set us free, there is nothing I would rather do than serve Him and be a part of His plan. I am excited to see where God is working and jump in! I want my kids to catch the enthusiasm my husband and I have for our Lord and Savior. We want them to share in our love for Him and give willingly of themselves! When they see we are excited, they get the bug too!
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
2. We want them to see God!
I believe there is no better place to experience God than where He is working. My kids get to see miracles firsthand and see how awesome our mighty God is! There is nothing better as a parent than to see your child’s eyes open wide when they realize God is at work . . . and they are a part of it! Whether it is here in America or overseas, God is doing amazing things every day. Those that are part of His work are blessed to be a part.
Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrew 13:11
3. We want the Word of God to come alive for them.
There are so many verses about serving the Lord in the Bible. When we teach our kids these verses and then put them into action, it is powerful for our kids. So many things they learn in these formidable years, but few of them require too much action on their part. Serving the Lord puts feet to His Word that does not come back void. They get to see that it glorifies Him, that it blesses them, and that joy comes from serving the Lord.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal. 5:14
4. We want to rescue them from themselves!
Unfortunately, in Southern California, we are surrounded by activity, entertainment and stuff. It is everywhere, I know! As I spend time being the mamma taxi driver, I think “shouldn’t we be saving the world?!” Does this next dance lesson count for eternity? But more importantly, I see their hearts. My kids get caught up in the treasures of the world and quickly can focus on themselves. Funny, I have the same problem. Stepping out to serve others quickly takes the focus off of them and puts it back on others. You cannot serve two masters. Kids can easily go from self-focused to others-focused in minutes, which we are hoping will continue as they grow into adulthood.
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matt. 6:24
5. We want to help them see their purpose in life!
We believe serving helps focus on God’s grand plan. Once our kids get a vision for what God has planned for their lives, we know He will make it happen. But that can only come from God – and not mom and dad! Serving helps kids see that they have a gift with which to serve Christ; the more opportunities we give them to stretch, the better they might be at seeing their purpose in life.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace 1 Peter 4:10
So yes . . .getting the whole family up at 6:00 a.m. and driving up two hours to serve as a family was a stretch, but I believe that the rewards will be great. Our memories of serving will become another picture in their lifetime of loving God. We think the effort is worth it.
Where can you serve with your kids? What do you have to sacrifice to make this happen?