25 May 5 Reasons Why We Should Teach our Children to Serve
School is out, and summer is here! Now that our kids have more downtime, it can be easy for them to grow increasingly accustomed to being served. In our desire to love them well, we (as parents) can tend to serve them and their desires, inadvertently forgetting the importance of teaching them to serve others.
The reality is that teaching our kids to serve others is one of the best things we can do for them. This summer, we can take steps to help our children grow in this area. Let’s consider FIVE reasons WHY it’s important for us to teach our children to serve.
1. Because it doesn’t come naturally
It’s human nature for us to seek our own will and ways—our own best interests—before anything or anyone else. We need to constantly be reminded of the importance of laying down our rights and privileges to serve others. We need to constantly be reminded of the blessing it is to serve others. We need to constantly be challenged to set aside any sense of our own “rights” or entitlement to humbly honor others over ourselves and serve them in love.
Teaching service is counter-intuitive. It must be purposeful and modeled, so it can be caught and repeated.
2. Because God’s Word commands it
Over and over again in Scripture, we are told to serve one another in love. Jesus set an example of washing His disciples’ feet and told them to repeat His example (John 13). The apostles told the new believers to serve one another in love (Acts 20:35, Galatians 5:13, Romans 12:13, 1 Timothy 6:18). The apostle Paul told the believers to seek to honor others as better than themselves and to follow the example and attitude of Jesus Christ Himself (Philippians 2:3-11).
Part of making disciples (which we are called to do as parents) is teaching others to obey all the Lord has taught. If God’s Word says that we are to serve, then we need to obey that command – and show our kids how to do the same!
This year, during Legacy’s Kids Week, kids will have an opportunity to serve two local missions (register for FREE!). They will make blankets for homeless people and stuff bags with rice and beans to feed them. If you are able, take your kids to the store and purchase some supplies needed for the project – fleece, beans, and rice.
3. Because our faith is DEAD without it
This may seem like harsh truth, but James 2:14-16 states that faith without action is dead. It is “of no good.” If we do not teach our children to serve, they will not have a living, saving faith. This is a serious consideration.
Teaching service is of the utmost importance to help our children not simply talk the talk, but also to walk the walk (or, as we put it at Legacy, live the Word).
4. Because we serve Jesus when we serve others
In Matthew 25:34-46, Jesus states that whenever we serve someone else in love, we are serving Him. Other passages (Colossians 3:17, Ephesians 6:5-8) challenge us to do all our service and works as though it was for the Lord Himself. This is our heart’s response to the great grace He has given us.
5. Because serving reflects the gospel of Jesus Christ to others
Jesus Himself did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). In our serving, we reflect His character and His likeness. Similarly, when others see our good works of service, they see the gospel in action, and they glorify and praise God the Father (Matthew 5:14-16).
Consider this: in our serving, and because of our serving, others may better understand who Jesus is and become more open to receiving the gospel.
This summer can be different. This summer, let’s purpose our hearts and our calendars to intentionally teach (and model) service to our children. As we model service to our children, we raise the next generation to love, serve and lead the world to Jesus.