RELATED VERSE: THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
A Letter to Read/Use As A Guide With Your Children
My Dear Children,
I am fervently praying that you all learn early in life how to be a servant to others. Did you know Jesus, King of all mankind, came to earth to serve the mere man He created? His life is the epitome of servanthood!
Now, imagine with me, if He were alive (in human form, that is) today. I ask you the now-famous words behind the popular WWJD bracelets, “What would Jesus do?” Here are a few things I thought of:
- He’d get up and fix your favorite breakfast—waffle with butter for Davis, add syrup for Brent, then cereal for Emmy, and bagels with cream cheese for Maggie. Then He’d clean up, cheerfully.
- On the ball field, He’d ask you first which position you’d like to play. Then, without grumbling, He’d take the one not chosen.
- He would wash your hands and feet when they got dirty—with a smile on His face. He’d make sure you were warm at night, finding you an extra blanket if you needed one, or even giving you His own.
- He would then kneel down and kiss you on the forehead, and say a prayer to His Heavenly Father that you, too, someday would learn of all the mysteries regarding His abounding love for you. Oh children, I so want you to know of the ways of Jesus. He laid down His life for you, and He is asking you to do the same. Now thing about it—WWYD, “What will you do”:
- When your little sister jumps in front of you at the sink to brush her teeth first? When your big sister is sitting in the comfortable chair that you had planned on sitting in? When you know your brother is as thirsty as you are, while you’re getting yourself some ice cold water?
- When your Mommy and Daddy ask you to do certain chores inside the house or outside in the yard?
You will find, dear children, that having a servant’s heart is one of the greatest ways to show love for another human being. Practice this concept while you are young, sweet ones, with your brothers and sisters. Then, later in life, it will come more naturally as you begin to serve the one you marry, and also serve your own children. I’m telling you this though—if you haven’t learned servanthood by the time your first child is born, you’re in for a rude awakening (literally). The very moment that newborn-cry pierces your ears for the first time, your life as you know it, has dramatically changed—ready or not!
Please know I fully realize having a servant’s heart is hardly ever easy. All of our hearts are so full of SELF. However, there is Hope. Remember Jesus Christ, the best Servant of all time? If you believe in Him, He lives inside of you. Don’t quench His Spirit; instead, ask Him to help you when nothing in your own heart wants to choose unselfish ways. Ask Him to take over, and completely trust Him. Then, He will give you the ability to wash the feet of another.
Teaching Tools/Activities For Your Children
Have your children practice serving one another one full day. Examples:
1. Make each other’s bed.
2. Make each other’s breakfast and lunch.
3. Do something for parents without being asked.
Discuss how servanthood shows love for one another!
A Prayer To Pray Over Your Children
Dear Heavenly Father,
I earnestly pray for my children, asking You to give them a servant’s heart towards all those they will encounter: their siblings, their parents, their elders, and their friends.
Help them to see clearly, dear Jesus, how You lovingly related to Your disciples – washing their feet, living, and then dying for them. In so doing, You were completely obeying the voice of Your Heavenly Father. May my children understand that these two relationships go hand in hand: When they are reaching for Your hand and obeying Your voice, O God, they can, then, through Your Holy Spirit, reach out to serve their friend or even “enemy” who is standing beside them.
O Lord, sometimes it is so hard for me to lay down my own selfish desires (due to stubbornness, pride, or even fatigue) and go that extra mile for someone, including the ones I love the most. Teach me, dear Lord, by Your power working in me, to put others before myself. I pray this so that my children may see a joyful servant before their eyes.
God, I also ask You to keep my children from relying on their temporal feelings or wavering emotions when making decisions about how to respond in difficult situations. Keep them close to You, dear Lord, as their stronghold, and convict them quickly when their thinking about a situation is not right. Then, give them Your wisdom and power to correct their thoughts and actions. Help them to put other people’s interests before their own, not matter how hard it is at the time. Please help them to serve others out of their love for You. Remind them that Christ Himself came to serve and not to be served. Then, bless them, dear Lord, with Your peace and joy in the same way as you have so often blessed me, after I have submitted my selfish will to Your perfect one.
And finally, I pray, this temporary time with their brothers and sisters, and with us, as their parents, will be a building block for future relationships not only with their spouses, but also with their personal walk with You, Heavenly Father. Thank You, Promise-Keeper, for providing peace to those who seek it. May my children die to themselves to find life in You.
Scripture references in letter:
Is. 42:1; Matt. 20:32; John 15:12; Eph. 6:5-9; Matt. 7:12; Mark 9:41; Luke 6:35; I Thess. 5:19; John 13:13-15
Scripture references in prayer:
John 13:1, 3-6; John 14:8-12; Matt. 5:38-42; Matt. 20:28; John 12:24-26; I Peter 3:8-12; Matt. 10:38-39