You never know which moments, habits, or tasks you ask of your children will become influential. That’s why it’s important to not neglect any moment. Every moment of parenting should be held as sacred. Every decision should carry the weight of responsibility. I mother all day, every day and in everything that I do. They are always watching me. Paying attention to small inconsistencies. My life speaks truth or lies to them.
That’s a lot.
Yet, there are moments when I feel the beautiful ballet of life fall over us and we dance in step with one another and I realize that it’s not in my perfections that children of character are borne…rather, it’s in the good, bad, and indifferent moments. Here’s an example…
About a month ago I randomly asked Naomi to make me a cup of hot tea. It’s become my habit to drink hot tea after dinner every night and that particular night I was worn out with the day and thought, “It would be so nice to have Naomi do this task for me.” While at the same time I began to feel that familiar pang of guilt and wondered if I was being selfish. The resounding answer was, “No!”, and as it turned out I was creating an opportunity for servanthood.
Naomi agreed to make the tea after I gave some brief instruction. She handed me the hot cup moments later and I felt so grateful for this small act. The next night, I asked her again. She scoffed a bit, but she complied…making an off-hand comment, “Am I going to have to do this every night?” My reply, “Would that be so bad?” and we laughed it off.
Fast forward to last night, well over a month later, and she has begun asking me every single night, if I would like a cup of hot tea. This simple and seemingly largely insignificant action has become so poignant, as she and I both realized that I’m teaching her to serve…by first serving me.
I never imagined it happening in this way, but I realize that not only is it important for her to learn service, it’s equally important for her to know how to serve her own family…and it’s healing to me. It’s reminding me that I too am valuable enough to receive. I serve my family, day in and day out…but I don’t serve them well when I don’t allow them to reciprocate. They must be allowed to have opportunity to give back.
Sometimes as parents we are so used to making life happen that we neglect the little things like teaching our children to serve.
We serve Christ. We must teach our children to serve Him as well, and one foundational step in this is for them to serve us first. As parents we must realize that our children’s first concept of God the Father, comes from the household. We undoubtedly spend our lives using our earthly father as a basis for the way we see Abba. Many of us require healing in that area because no man can measure up to Abba. But we can begin to teach reverence to God, by teaching our children to have healthy reverence for family too.
Naomi has remarked multiple times that she is serving me, and how much she enjoys it! Never be afraid to lean into servanthood…even teaching your children to do so beginning at home. It’s all about family.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13
But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:25-28