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Don’t you just love it when someone comes up to you and says your kid served them or their family? Like someone might say, “Your son John has been such a good friend to my son Nathan. He has invited him into their group at church and now Nathan feels so included. It has changed his whole countenance because John helped him find community!!”
We want for our kids Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another in love.”
That verse is a desire we have for our children. We don’t want them to “indulge the flesh” and we want them to want to “serve one another in love.” What are some Practical Parenting ways to give them that kind of heart?
- Serve with them. Pick a ministry and serve with your child. There are so many opportunities out there. We did children’s ministry. We served there first and then our kids served with us as they got older, and now they do it on their own while we are serving in other areas.
- Praise them any time they serve anyone. Make a big deal out of it, not treat it as an expectation. “Wow! Did you just unload the dishwasher? Was that you? Thanks so much! That really blesses me and the family.” You’ll be amazed over time how much your kids will respond to your consistent praise.
- Encourage them to serve at every opportunity. Maybe their sports team is doing a fundraiser or there is a service opportunity with their youth group. Make serving important in your family and you will see it become important to your kids.
We develop servant hearts in our kids not by manipulation or by guilt but by making serving important to everyone in the family. By setting the example and praising it when it happens.