It’s hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner. Where did this year go? Christmas is my favorite holiday. This time of year it’s easier to be a little nicer; easier to smile, and to think of others.
In the Gospel of John, Chapter 13, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. In verses 15 – 17 he says to them, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (NKJV) As a mother and Sunday school teacher, I have discussed this part of Scripture numerous times. But what does it mean to a child? How do you get them to understand it, and more importantly, how do you get them to live a life of service?
The best way we can nurture a servant’s heart in our children is to do what Jesus did—lead by example. Be a parent of action, not only words. Bring your children along when you volunteer within your community. Our church’s largest outreach is vacation Bible school (VBS). We spend months preparing for it, and whether we have 10 kids or 100 kids, we feel blessed by the time it’s over. My girls are old enough now that they help contribute to VBS. They paint scenery. They come up with game ideas. They help us put craft kits together.
Draw upon their God-given talents. Is your child gifted in math or reading? Perhaps he can tutor a classmate or younger student who is struggling? Is your child creative and crafty? Discuss ways she can use that talent to help others. Our oldest daughter wants to make blankets for the local animal shelter this year.
Adopt a charity. Last year, our girls decided on their own that they would collect money for Toys for Tots. A mission of the United States Marine Corps Reserve, this campaign collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children. The girls put all their spare change into a box and asked others to donate as well. Imagine how proud they were when their father sent a check off to Toys for Tots in December.
Being good servants is what God calls us to do. As it says in 1 Corinthians 4:1, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (NKJV) What can each of us teach our children about living a life of service this Christmas season?
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
Visit Cheryl at her newly redesigned website http://ccmalandrinos.com or visit the Little Shepherd book blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com.
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