Raising Children Who Desire to Serve God and Others
As a mature Christian, you understand the importance of serving others and how through doing so, you are in fact serving God. Children have a more difficult time grasping this concept; especially when they are used to getting their way and putting themselves first, which is common in today’s society and many households. Whether your children have only been walking for a few short years or are getting around on skateboards, you can raise mission minded children! These tips will help grow their desire to serve God and others.
Show Them How They Can Serve
Many children aren’t given the opportunity to serve. Find age appropriate ways for your child to lend a hand and show God’s love to others – starting with those right there under the same roof!
Under Their Roof:
- Ask your child to assist you in the completion of household tasks, such as folding laundry, making dinner (or the dessert portion) or setting the table for a meal. Let them know how much you appreciate their help and how it made your day just a little easier.
- Have your child assist in the planning of a surprise celebration for a family member; or better yet, have them pick a family member to do something special for – for no reason at all.
- Teach your child to set aside money earned through completion of chores to tithe and help others. They may not be in favor of the idea, but explaining the importance of contributing financially to the building of God’s kingdom here on earth and possibly allowing them to choose an organization that interests them to donate their money to will help in opening up their hearts and piggy banks!
In Their Community:
- Have your child choose a local charity to volunteer their time to. There is sure to be something for everyone. Older children can spend time with troubled younger children through Big Brother/Big Sister programs or help out with your church’s children’s ministry. Younger children can make visits to elderly residents in nursing homes or create cards for children who are terminally ill and send them to the hospital.
- Talk to your child about everyday issues so they can not only handle them, but share with their peers the best possible, and biblically sound, ways to handle them. Explain that sharing what they’ve learned and personal testimony can be a way of serving others as well.
- Have your child donate clothes and toys they no longer use (but are in good condition); younger children may have a difficult time parting with their belongings. Explain to them that what they no longer use will bring a smile to the face of a child who doesn’t have many clothes or toys and that as Christians we share, because that was Jesus’ way.
Serving is Rewarding
Don’t worry if your child doesn’t seem to enjoy serving. Deriving joy from joy brought to others takes time. Provide your child with amble opportunities to have them self used for the good of others and to please God; they will learn selflessness and it will become second nature to them. Before you know it, they’ll be finding their own ways to help increase God’s earthly kingdom, no prompting needed. They’ll be reaping the rewards only God could provide, their hearts will be satisfied just knowing what they’ve done is appreciated – most importantly, by God.
Pray and Lead the Way
The most important things you can do to raise mission minded children is to pray for them and lead by example! Serve within your church, reach out to those within your community, and share with your children the ways in which being a blessing to others has blessed you.
Through your devoted prayers, God will reach your child in ways you cannot.
Through your devoted service, he will bless you and your children will see this and desire the same!