Our Family Ways (6)

“We serve one another, humbly thinking of the needs of others first.”

The act of serving has a huge value in God’s kingdom.  So much so that Jesus said, “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
– Mark 10:44 -45 (NIV)

There is a subtle different between being a servant and choosing to serve.  Choosing to serving implies that you are in control in the decision as to whether or not you serve.  You serve on your own terms in your own way.  While being a servant means that you approach every situation looking for opportunities to serve.

Jesus calls us to BE a servant.

Two of my kids are natural servers – two are really not.
Two have an easy time giving and being generous – two really do not.

While there is lots of grace in our home for each kids’ personality, there isn’t a free pass from the responsibility of being a servant.  We try to do for others without expecting them to do anything for us in return.

For example, one of my sons has an easier time of serving than the other one does.  However, it is the one that doesn’t naturally enjoy serving that has connected with a few neighbors and readily serves them.  He has intentionally stretched himself in this area to where it feels quite normal for him to jump up and take care of their needs as he sees them.

To encourage the kids in this value when they were younger, I had a reward system.  When someone in the family was especially generous or served them, they were to tell me so that I could place a button in their cup.  When they had a certain amount of buttons (25), they were rewarded with a trip to a dollar store, or the dollar section of Target.

While I don’t believing in bribing your kids – at all – I do think there is a place to provide motivation for the development of a new habit, and having a reward system in place really helps.

Ask yourself (and your family) these questions:
If you had your own personal servant, how would you expect to be treated?
If you were a personal servant, how would you expect to be treated?
What is each emily member’s most outstanding skills, talents and qualities?
What part of a physical body does each family member best represent?

For more suggestions along your journey to raise delightful servants, or to increase your capacity to serve, refer to the book “Our 24 Family Ways” by Clay Clarkson.

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Filed under Family and faith, Parenting

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