How and Why To Train Kids Toward Selflessness
“I could be a lot more considerate of others if I wouldn’t keep getting in my own way!” Ha! Ain’t that the truth all too often. Jessica walks us through the value of training our kids toward selfLESSness.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:30-31
When I think about my childhood, the memories I have are filled with moments marked by my very godly mother putting herself last. She sacrificed her comforts, her time, and her desires to serve her kids. Most days she looked quite a bit like Jesus.
Do we do the same? Why and how should we train our kids to be selfless?
- Christ was selfLESS. On the days I feel my flesh flair up, and I become consumed with what I want most or how I can be most comfortable, I remember Philippians 2:3. The God of the universe put skin on and emptied Himself! He denied His divine nature to be a servant. We can look to Christ’s display of humility as a standard for how we should live. If I believe God is who He says He is, then I can’t look to Him without being compelled to follow His selfless example.
- For the kingdom. As a believers in Jesus, this world is no longer our permanent home. Our citizenship is in Heaven, yet our days on this planet are not without purpose. God has placed us here to advance His kingdom…to share the truth of who He is with a lost and dying world. Romans 12:2 encourages us not to conform to the patterns of the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In a culture crying out for us to look out for ourselves first and be sure “number one” is most taken care of, looking different than the world equals selflessness. When we die to ourselves and put others first, we stand out. It’s noticeable. This display can act as worship to God and will affect those who see.
- Practice selflessness at home. So how can we do this in our own families with our own kids? Begin by modeling it. I remember countless times my mom would make dinner, do the dishes, feed the dogs and help with my homework before she touched anything she wanted to do for herself. She has given her life to serving our family and putting us before herself. I’m not exaggerating to say that there was never a doubt in my mind that my mom loved the Lord and me because of the way she set aside her desires. That type of example has had lasting effects on me. And I doubt she knew it most of the time. Let’s be that example for our kids.
The call for the believer is to let scripture be our guide. What does God display and what does He call us to? Often this contrasts the world’s ways. Let’s train our kids in these Truths.
- Who is someone you could serve today?
- How will you put that person’s desires before your own?