Modern society is full of people for whom serving others is, at best, an after thought. Yet as Christians, we are told that serving others is akin to serving God. (See for example Mark 9:35, John 13:12 - 14, Mark 10:44 - 45, and Matt. 23:11.) So how can we raise our children so they naturally think to serve others first?
I've been pondering this a lot lately, and thinking about how earlier generations accomplished this goal. Certainly, we should discuss servitude with children from the time they are toddlers. We can also help kids focus on being helpers by reading appropriate books to them - the Bible, in addition to storybooks focusing on the care of others. And seeing Mom and Dad being servants - and not just to their children - is vital.
But there's one important area I think a lot of parents overlook: Getting kids started with Christian servitude through family chores.
I've talked about the importance of chores for kids before, but until recently I never connected chores to the issue of godliness. Yet if we start giving children chores when they are very young and really want to help, they start learning from that tender age the importance and joy of helping and serving others. That lesson will stick with them.
So remember this the next time your child begs to help. Whenever the chore is something he or she can do without the probability of getting hurt, resist the urge to say "no," thereby discouraging him from serving others. Instead, take a few moments to teach them how to do the chore. By doing so, you may bring your child a few steps closer to living a godly life.