When was the last time your family volunteered to serve the community?
Let us clarify; when was the last time you volunteered to serve? And we don’t mean a time you serve, just to teach your kids a lesson, or for a tax deduction. No. When was the last time you served with a sincerely just to show God’s love?
During the holiday season we typically see a large number of people volunteering or donating to charity organizations. While those are good things to do; how impactful we would be if we served with that same heart throughout the year?
Serving Is A Lifestyle
Jesus was the ultimate servant, who lived to serve others. Unfortunately, in our modern day society we’ve adopted the “me” syndrome. Everything has become about “me”, including: what I gave, what I did, or where I volunteered.
We have to admit, we use to volunteer for events to teach our children a lesson to be grateful. However, we soon found out, that making them serve at one or two events wasn’t going to teach them the lesson of serving. Rather, we needed to develop a lifestyle of seeking to be a blessing through acts of service all the time.
One Thanksgiving we watched a movie called The Ultimate Gift, that left an imprint on our hearts. It inspired us to really look for ways to give and serve others. The movie outlined twelve gifts that we all have the ability to give which included: the gift of work, money, friends, learning, problems, family, laughter, dreams, giving, gratitude, the gift of a day, and the gift of love. (If you want to know more, we encourage you to watch the movie!)
Needless to say, this movie truly impacted us as a family. So much so, we challenged ourselves to purposefully look for ways to bless others through service. Our son was the first to identify a young boy in his class, that was being raised by a single mother. And he thought we should invite them over for dinner. As it turned out, the family was in desperate need of hope.
In which, the love that was extended that night helped restore their faith. Over the years, our children gladly participated in many serving opportunities, and have come to us with people they felt we needed to bless in some way.
Serving As A Family
Volunteering as a family in a community event is purposeful. In fact, we truly enjoy and look forward to serving with the Current Initiative every year in the Laundry Love Project. Yet, the heart to willingly serve at that event as a family, only came from purposing to live a lifestyle of serving others. As parents, there’s no greater joy than to witness when your children understand this principle at an early age.
When we serve with the sole purpose to show God’s love, we find an overwhelming awareness of grace and mercy. And this grace is drawn from a well that runs deep from a place of gratitude. And that place of gratitude, can only be tapped into when we serve without expecting a reward.
When we’re focused on ourselves, and our problems; we miss the thankfulness that can only come from gratefulness.
Don’t let serving this holiday season be another “thing” you do. Instead, let serving become a lifestyle; it will be one of the best gifts you can give your children. After all, our ultimate desire as a parent is to leave an inheritance to our children’s children.
~ André and Timberley Gray