Proverbs 31:10, 20, 28 “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her…”
It’s so easy to stretch ourselves too thin, or to think we have to choose whether we’re going to help others or help our family. But, we can do both at the same time! We can involve our children in small service projects for others, teaching them the importance of serving.
Things children can do
Clean. If there’s someone who needs help cleaning her house, this can be a family project. Children can sweep the floor, dust the furniture, gather trash, load silverware into the dishwasher (careful with knives!), etc. Any chore they have at home is a chore they can do in someone else’s home.
Yardwork. Older kids can mow grass or pull weeds while younger kids sweep the sidewalks or help rake.
Cook. Meals are often needed, and we can involve our children in this. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy – chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese will be appreciated as much as a fancier dinner. The children can help prepare the meal (see a previous Cooking Corner article about cooking with kids), and go along to deliver it.
Bake. Bake some brownies with your kids, or a couple batches of cookies, distribute them onto paper plates, and deliver homemade goodies to your neighbors (you could even put several in a baggie and leave it in the mailbox, along with a nice note, for the mailman).
Make cards. Cardstock with envelopes, or just colored construction paper, with crayons or markers are everything needed to make cards for others. Write the words in bubble letters on the cover for young children to color in, and allow them to draw a picture underneath a nice note on the inside. Older kids can make these on their own, and may enjoy the project more if they’re allowed to make the cards on the computer.
Phone calls. Put their chatting skills to good use – get a small list of shut-ins who would love to hear from someone, and take turns calling each person on the list (you go first to show them an example). Be sensitive to shy children, but encourage them to step out of their comfort zone to do something for Christ (Matthew 25:35-40).
Visit. Take children along to a nursing home, or an elderly person’s home, just to keep them company for a few minutes. Taking food or a card is a nice gesture, but not necessary, so don’t let being empty-handed stop you! Many people just want the company, and most love seeing children.
Not so perfect
Perfection is not the idea, so don’t worry about messy cards, a little dust left on the entertainment center, or some dirt still on the sidewalk. The idea is to teach our children how to cheerfully serve and give to others, and to bless someone else in the process (2 Corinthians 9:7), because sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.
– Davonne Parks