Join Blog Contributor Cescelie as she talks about teaching our children to have a servant’s heart.
For, let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah Yehoshua, who, being in the form of Elohim, did not regard equality with Elohim a matter to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and came to be in the likeness of men. And having been found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, death even of a stake. Elohim, therefore, has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Yehoshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Yehoshua Messiah is Master, to the esteem of Elohim the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
In today’s society, it feels like many of us are creating young adults who are very self-centered and have an entitlement mentality. I can’t imagine what we think will be the result when we cater to our children’s every whim and never tell them ‘no.’ Then, we act surprised when they grow up being disrespectful and acting as if the entire world revolves around them.
In this blog post, I want to talk about the value of teaching our children to have a servant’s heart. It requires teaching them to care about the needs of others.
In many ways, this is contrary to what we are taught in our society. We have been taught that we should be competitive and fight to be number one in everything. I can remember being at a swim class with my children when they were younger. There were two siblings there who were very aggressive about going first in every activity.
At one point, they didn’t end up first in the line that had formed. They got upset about it. I overheard their mother telling them to yell at the instructor to get her attention and ask her if they could go first. They did exactly what their mother told them to do. Since the instructor was busy going over what she wanted the kids to do, she said yes to their request without really giving it any thought.
They had interrupted her to ask if they could go first so, she just said yes and kept on talking. I thought it was so rude of them to interrupt the teacher like that to ask if they could go first. I thought it was so sad that their mother was the one who told them to do that. I mean everyone will eventually get a turn. Why does your child always have to go first? I am a competitive person but, I don’t get this kind of competitiveness where you step on everyone else’s toes to get your own way.
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Reaping the Harvest
The bottom line is that you are going to reap a harvest from whatever seeds you are sowing into your children. If you are planting seeds of selfishness and self-centeredness, you will one day regret it. My husband and I have made every effort to teach our children to follow the example that the Messiah provided of servant-hood.
Throughout the scriptures, we see the Messiah esteeming others above himself. He washed the feet of His disciples, and went out of His way to minister to the needs of others. He healed the sick, made friends with people who were outcast by society, and He who knew no sin, died a sinners death on the cross to save us from our sins.
Ways to Teach Servant-hood
From the time our children were old enough to understand about giving, we have taught them to care about others. I don’t have enough time to tell you all of the ways that we have we have worked to accomplish this goal but, I can give you a few examples.
At least once a month, we volunteer at food pantries and feed the hungry. We participate in Operation Christmas Child and put together shoe boxes for children around the world. We donate money to Heifer International each year so that families trapped in poverty can buy chickens, goats and cows to help them to escape the chains of poverty.
We work alongside our kids to help our neighbors and people in our community who may be having a difficult time. They have mown lawns, cleaned up homes, sat with sick people, etc. We constantly look for ways to serve others. As a result, we have teenagers who exhibit an awareness of the needs of others and a concern for their fellow man.
I also think it is important to teach our kids to check their motivation for doing good works. You shouldn’t just do good works because it will make you look good to others. I have seen some people who only help out when they think it can be used to boost their image. Your motivation should be that being a servant is what the scriptures instruct us to do.
My Best Friend – A Perfect Example
My best friend since middle school is LaVeth Reese. She is the perfect example of someone who has a servant’s heart. She has worked as a Registered Nurse for about 29 years, and has been honored for her care that she provides to patients on several occasions. Patients constantly write letters to her hospital about the wonderful care that they received from her.
LaVeth is such a kind spirit that she has the ability to turn the most angry patient that no one else wants to deal with into her friend. As my bestie, LaVeth has been a sister to me. She always has a listening ear and gently guides me in the right direction. She never judges me no matter how crazy I might sound. LaVeth truly loves me unconditionally.
Sometimes I swear that she has ESP or more likely a direct line with the Holy Spirit because whenever I really need something but, might not have the money to get it, I will get a package in the mail from LaVeth with the exact item that I am needing. I won’t even have mentioned it to her but, somehow she always knows.
She is like that with everyone in her life. She is very sensitive to the needs of others. She listens deeply and really hears the unspoken desires of your heart. Everyone in her life feels like they are her beloved because that’s how she makes us feel. I have learned so much from watching how LaVeth loves others. She truly has a servant’s heart and it is beautiful to behold. She has taught me how to be a better friend, wife and mother.
In closing, I encourage you to teach your children the beauty of having a servant’s heart. Let them know that it’s okay to be second or third in line. They will eventually get their turn. Stop teaching your children to push and shove their way to the front of the line. That’s not the example the Messiah set for us to follow.
CHIME IN: What are some ways you teach your children to have a servant’s heart? Let us know in the comments below!
To read more and connect with Cescelie, visit her blog – Reclaiming My Time!