(A note from Kat: This is a guest post from my friend Amanda. She inspires me like no one else when it comes to being intentional about teaching my children God’s word and how to live it out. She blogs at Impress Your Kids. Aren’t her kids (above) adorable?!)
Raising World Changers
God has commanded us to impress God’s Word on our children’s hearts. And every day I work at impressing scripture like, “Children obey your parents in the Lord.” and “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” These are the easy ones because the kids seem to forget them at every turn!
But the other scriptures I want my kids to learn are “Blessed is the one who considers the poor…the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land…” (Psalm 41:1-2) and Matthew 25:34-40:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'”Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Yikes! These are much harder–even for adults to swallow. Just as I want to train my kids in church attendance, kindness and obedience, I need to train them in giving to the needy, loving the unlovely, being unattached to riches so it will become the norm and a pattern in their life!
How can a child give? How can a child volunteer? How can a child do something big for someone in need? With a parent leading them and helping them to do something hard, of course!
My daughter spent last summer collecting shoes. Like old, stinky, found-in-the-bottom-of-the-closet-shoes. She was only 4 but I thought it would be a good idea for her to join aÂ challenge from Clubhouse Jr to collect shoes for kids in Haiti.
We made flyers asking for shoes, stapled them to trashbags, delivered them to every mailbox in the neighborhood. Then collected the bags, sorted the shoes, boxed them up, counted them and mailed them. It took a long time. My little girl was hot, tired and absolutely GIDDY!
She had so much fun working that hard. It was the highlight of our summer! And it was really hard. Hard for her and for me! But I wanted her even at 4 years old to know what it was like to work for God. I wanted her to know the commitment of doing something God asks. I hoped she would feel the connectedness of God’s family as she worked for Him. And I wanted her to know that the world does not revolve around her. I pray she saw others needs as more important than her comfort.
Here are some suggestions for helping your kids give and love the needy:
1. Sell Something. Fix up a lemonade stand, a yard sale, a bake sale and give all the proceeds to a ministry. Do your kids know how to knit? Is one an artist? Can they bake bread? If they can make something, set up a little shop online and let them raise money for an organization!
2. Collect something. Cans for recycling, shoes to donate, food for a foodbank, blankets and coats for the homeless. Find an organization that needs something and see how your child can fill the need!
5. Sponsor a child. This may be one of the “easiest” and most significant ways to connect your child to someone in need. When you open up your wallet and give $38 a month to a child, you are opening up your home and your family to a new family member. You can make that child a part of your life by hanging up their pictures in prominent locations around the house, celebrating their birthday, writing monthly letters, sending gifts and praying for them daily. Your child will consider your sponsored child family–just wait and see!
Want more ideas? Visit Metropolitan Mama who volunteers with her 2 and 4 year old!
It might not seem like you’re doing much. A gift basket here, $16.42 donated there, a badly colored picture sent to a child in another country seems not-worth-it. But every little gift helps and encourages. And even more than that you are building a love of others in your children. You are showing your own children that their lives are meant for sharing and giving.
How can you and your kids give today?
Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor â€” overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!Leave a Comment