Told you it was crazy.
Two things converged...
First, I decided I wanted to put together a list to answer a question I get fairly regularly from moms with young children: "How can I teach my kids to serve?" The list keeps growing and growing, and soon I hope to have the whole thing compiled for you to download and print.
And then I remembered the "31 Days of..." meme, and figured, hey, I can not only put together that list, but also highlight thirty one of the ideas in posts!
So for the month of October you'll find short daily posts here with all sorts of practical ideas for growing servants' hearts in your kids. I hope you'll check back throughout the month and share your ideas too!
And now for day 1 of Teaching Kids to Serve...
You Set the Example
Yes, teaching your child to serve others starts with you. Little eyes are watching every move you make. Little ears hear. And where your feet go, so will go your children's.
You don't necessarily have to take your children out of the home to see you serve. Involve them in "Blessing Daddy" by choosing to do things for him that you know will make him feel loved. Show them how to serve family members cheerfully.
And when you do serve outside the home, involve them as much as possible. In the coming days you will find many ideas here for out-of-the-home ways for kids to serve.
Use words that help children grow in understanding serving others... talk about growing a servant's heart, about blessing others, about choosing to put others first.
In our house we often frame it in terms of love:
- What is the most loving thing I can do in this situation?
- What would make me feel loved if I were this person?
- What need does this person have that I could meet?
We have also memorized this verse...
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
... and say it out loud sometimes together to remind ourselves.
The way you speak and act will be the foundation on which your children will form their ideas about what it means to serve. It starts with you!