“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16, ESV)
A few times each year, my children help me make several homemade frozen lasagna meals. We deliver them to local families when we find out someone’s day can be brightened with a meal. Opportune times to deliver meals include loss of loved ones, when mom or family members are sick, or when someone is busy with hospital visits.
Why do our hearts feel so full when we serve others?
When we work out of a position of love, we develop and maintain a dynamic relationship with God. When we help others while giving God glory, we spread God’s love. All this works together to give us a sense of love and fulfillment which helps us feel valuable.
"No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us." (1 John 4:12, ESV).
Serving is key to homeschool success.
If you plan time for your children to serve, your constant reminder that they should be kind and care for others is transferred to a plan of action where they can truly experience the joy of serving.
Acts of service also give more meaning to your children's studies. After all, when they study, they multiply interests and strengthen opportunities to serve in ever-expanding ways. And isn't that one of our goals in raising and educating our children; that we help them grow a heart of service so they can someday serve their families at home and also their communities by using their gained knowledge, gifts, and passions to serve others as they are called?
10 ways you and your children can work together to serve others
Work with your kids to make a meal for others. (Pictured: My kids making several frozen lasagnas which we deliver to other families when they are going through tough times).
Volunteer at a food pantry
Check in on a friend who has become silent (they might need a shoulder).
Purchase a gift for a family who is going through a though time and leave them on their doorstep.
Deliver homemade bread or cookies to neighbors and acquaintances (include an encouraging Bible verse).
Pick up garbage in your neighborhood
Shovel an elderly neighbor's driveway and sidewalk after each snow during the winter.
Offer to maintain an elderly neighbor's yard during the summer months.
Craft homemade birthday, Valentine, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards for those who live in nursing homes.
Design a heartfelt thank you note for your Pastor and others who serve at your church.
When I witness my children serve others, I rejoice seeing the big smiles painted on their faces. I often wonder who is really the one being blessed . . . Is it the one who loves answering the door to my children’s smiles and small token of love? Is it my children for being filled with the joy of caring and sharing? Or is it me who is being filled with joy and thankfulness upon seeing their hearts become filled with the joy of serving?
As homeschool families, we are blessed to be able to rearrange our planned schedules to purposefully cultivate a child's heart for serving others. One thing is certain. Your lives will be enriched as you incorporate opportunities to serve others throughout your homeschool journey.
"Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered." (Proverbs 11:25 ESV)
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