What is the Value of Serving Together as a Family?
Leading our kids by serving others alongside them might be easier said than done, however “D” reminds us of the tremendous value of serving together as a family.
(October will be a repeat of topics as we are working to create a new Family Matters experience for you!)
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14
I believe every parent’s desire includes their child being a kindhearted, generous, and selfless person as they grow up and venture out on their own. We often want to be the example, especially when words start falling on deaf ears as children get older; ultimately, parents need to show what…and who…really matters in God’s eyes.
Working with families and youth over the years, I’ve seen so many different examples of this, but none quite as effective as intentionally serving the local community as a family. In that space families can learn, grow, and instill values from God’s heart. (Check out Galatians 5:22-23). When we display the Fruit of the Spirit to our neighbors, we have an amazing opportunity to display God’s heart to those who just might need it most.
How can it be done effectively?
- Explain WHO is our neighbor. The simple answer is everyone, right? Whether it is through a church ministry or someone on your street who can’t get out of the house to do yard work, sitting with your kids and talking about who you are serving is much more effective for them to “get it” than throwing them in the van and heading down to the local food bank with no explanation. I knew a family who would purposefully sit down with whoever they were serving to learn more about their lives and story, which got their teenage kids even more fired up about helping them.
- Explain HOW this is loving or helping them. Be simple, loving, and practical in your explanation of how what your doing is valuable…even if it is picking up trash or pulling weeds in someone’s lawn. The hidden value is kids watching their parents serve the same way they are…being the example of Christ’s love to others is fulfilling what the Bible says in John 13:34-35. And the more kids see it, the deeper in their hearts they keep what we say and do.
- GO! Sit down and talk about places to serve. Allow your kids to come up with ideas. Then make a plan and actually do it! Following through with something from beginning to the end is such a great lesson to learn (or be reminded of) for all of us.
Service as an individual definitely grows the individual…but serving as a family can affect generations!
Grab a sheet of paper and make a list of who could be considered your neighbor. Then on the other side write down how you could serve each one of them. Along with your parents, choose one person to serve, make a plan for how you will serve, and set a time to do it!