Encouraging Children to Have a Servant’s Heart

As I was washing dishes one day this week, my four-year-old came up and said, “Mom, you can go do something else. I’ll take care of the dishes for you.”


That little one, oh my! It made my heart melt.


There was absolutely no prompting. She just wanted to be helpful.


This is what I’ve been waiting for—my kids to be able to contribute to more than just picking up things around the house. I’ve been waiting for them to contribute in huge ways to lessen my load.


But the selfish part of me wanted to tell her that I would do it myself. Allowing her to do the dishes actually meant more work for me. There were going to be pieces that needed to be rewashed because she didn’t scrub hard enough, so in the end, it was going to be anything but helpful. Right?


Even though I knew what it would mean if I did allow her to pull up a chair and start cleaning the dishes, I welcomed it.


I loved the heart of service she displayed.


She wanted to take my burden.


She wanted to show that she cared enough about me that she was going to pitch in.


She showed such love.


Instead of playing with her toys, she gave up her time to help me.


What mother wouldn’t want that?


She carried a heavy chair all the way to the sink, pulled up her sleeves, and told me to go to something else. “I’ll take care of this, Mom.” Oh, how she has grown up. Her maturity amazes me all the time.


You know what? She actually did a great job.


Her younger sister wanted in on the action. Oh my, that was a disaster waiting to happen, but how could I turn her down? She was learning to be a servant as well. Although she really just wanted to play in the water, it was the stepping stone for so much more.


The 10 minutes it was going to take to wash the dishes now turned into a half hour, but it was totally worth it.


It was worth it to encourage my girls to learn how to be helpful in this way.


It was worth it to encourage a heart of service.


It was worth it to spend time with them, mentoring them and teaching them a new skill.


It was worth it.


So many times it’s easier to just do a task on our own. It’s so much easier when there aren’t little hands involved, but why don’t we want to teach our children these valuable lessons? Why don’t we want to give them an opportunity to learn and grow?


As my children were helping me, I couldn’t help but think about how God generously gives us those opportunities.


He doesn’t need us.


He can do a much better job on his own. There have been so many times I’ve messed up a task and God has had to fix it.


But he invites us to serve him. He knows we’re not perfect. He knows we’re going to make a mess of things, but he loves our willingness to serve and love him.


Boy, God sure does use my kids to teach me many lessons.


What a blessing!



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