Teach Your Children to Be Servants to Others in Seven Steps
We as Christian parents all long for our children to be humble and thankful. What better way to do this by teaching them to serve others?
One of Jesus’ main teachings to us is to serve others and give generously and joyfully for His glory, not ours. He taught us that not only is a servant mentality good for others, but it is also good for ourselves and our relationship with Him. It brings us and Him joy. As children of God, we have the responsibility of not only serving others, but teaching our children to as well.
By teaching our children to serve others, we are actually teaching them to be humble.
So what are some ways you can teach your children to help others?
Well, I guarantee you that if you go up to your child out of the blue, without him having any knowledge or experience with giving to others, and ask him to give his favorite toy away, he will not be a happy camper (and this is understandable)!
That being said, let’s take a different approach 😉
1. Be an example. Leading by example goes much further than leading by lecturing. If you give to others and serve while your children are watching, they will learn by example, and naturally be inclined to give as well.
It’s a known fact that children are going to do what you do, more than what you say (and this of course gives us an opportunity to help others):
a. Pay it forward. Pay for the person’s order in line behind you next time your kids are with you at the drive-thru. Make sure you ask the cashier to tell the person that you said “God Bless” when she gives it to them. When you have left the store or drive-through (etc…), ask your children how that person may feel whenever he/she gets the joyful gift of having his/her order paid for, and ask your children how they felt about paying it forward.
b. Let someone go in front of you in line the next time you’re at the store with your children. This demonstrates a servant attitude to your children.
c. Let your children see you taking your neighbors trash can back where it belongs after pick up, or taking their newspaper to the front door for them.
2. Involve your children in giving: Don’t just let your children see you serving, involve them in serving. Ways to do this are:
a. Help an elderly neighbor or friend wrap presents.
b. Shop together at Christmas time for the Angel Tree or another child-based program that gives to disadvantaged children.
c. Ask them to let a child go in front of them in the line at school.
d. Have them make cards for the elderly and take them to your local nursing home to give the cards and visit with them.
e. Is there someone in your family who lives alone and may feel lonely at times? Have your child call them, or pay them a visit together.
It’s a known fact that
children are going to
do what you do, more
than what you say.
3. Learn Bible verses together that teach about serving. Have a week-long lesson on what the Bible says about giving and serving, and study and talk about the verses with your child (don’t worry, I’ve already put these together for you!):
a. Acts 1:8: “You’ll be my witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. “
This verse could be translated to your children in a way that would be easier to understand in present-day terms. For instance, you could explain that God wants us to tell people about him everywhere, including at home, school, throughout their town, across the country, and to the ends of the earth.
b. Proverbs 19:17: “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for this deed.”
When we give to others for God’s glory, He will bless us. This may not necessary be monetary, and our reward may come in Heaven and not on Earth, but we will be rewarded if we have a generous heart.
c. Acts 20:35: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
After serving someone in some way, ask your child how it felt to help that other person out or to give them something they needed. More than likely, they will describe having a joyous feeling about helping others.
d. Hebrews 13:16: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Teach your child that ultimately, everything we have belongs to God. He doesn’t want us to hoard everything we have and keep it all to ourselves. He wants us to share with others.
e. 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
God wants us to give cheerfully, not because we feel like we have to. He wants us to have a giving heart.
f. Deuteronomy: 15:7-11: ““If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”
We should help and give to the poor.
g. Luke 6:38: ” Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
As stated above, When we give to others for God’s glory, He will bless us. This may not necessary be monetary, and our reward may come in Heaven and not on Earth, but we will be rewarded if we have a generous heart.
h. Matthew 5:42: “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”
We should help those who ask us for help.
i. Proverbs 14:31: “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
Jesus, our Lord and Savior was poor. How then, could we allow ourselves to oppress the poor? Let us honor God by serving the poor.
j. Matthew 25:35-45 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’”
God will take account of our lives on Judgement Day. We will be held accountable for if we did these things or not.
k. Mark 12:41-44: “And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
The poor widow mentioned in Mark 12:41-44 gave everything she had, although to many, it seemed unreasonable. She was a cheerful giver who trusted Jesus to take care of her monetary needs.
4. Encourage your children to think about how serving others is doing what someone needs, not simply what WE like to do for others. Then ask them to identify meaningful ways they can show love to family and friends.
Encouraging your child to come up with ideas of his or her own is a great way to initiate giving. Who knows? They could very well come up with ideas you had never even thought of!
5. For birthdays and Christmas: Have your children pick out some gently used toys to give to disadvantaged children in the area.
You could also encourage your child to instead of having gifts brought to his or her birthday party, ask that a donation be given to his or her favorite charity.
6. Pray for others. This is one of the best ways to give and serve – to simply ask God to help them. Explain to your children that with God, anything is possible.
Prayer changes things. Don’t forget to sit down and pray with your child.
7. Teach your children that some kids (and adults), probably even in your home town, don’t always have a meal to eat, and don’t always have a place to lay their heads at night and the agony they must feel.
One way to do this is to explain that at Christmas-time, while your children may be excited to see what’s under the tree on Christmas morning, some children may be hoping for a hot meal or a warm place to get out of the cold.
Tell us: How have you taught your children to be servants to others? Let us know in the comments below!
Do you want to know how to give your life to Jesus and have eternal life with Him or want to know how to explain becoming a Christian to your kids?
1. Accept that you’re a sinner and are separated from God.
2. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died on the cross for your sins and rose from the grave.
3. Confess your sins to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you.
See more on becoming a Christian here.