Growing Servant Hearts in Children
by Karen Whiting
My granddaughter loves to serve. She has served meals to homeless people, helped in Sunday school, and when I entertain family, she usually asks, “Grandma what can I do to help?” She likes learning to cook but also enjoys making a table pretty and creating name cards. When she was young, she and her mom and brother lived with me for several months while her dad was deployed to Iraq. Even then she liked helping and serving others.
Start encouraging children while they are young. Over the summer, I spent a week at a beach cottage with my middle son and his family. His youngest son, Ezra, is a toddler who followed me around, cooked with me in the kitchen, and also helped as we cleaned before departing at the end of the week. He does not talk a lot, but he notices everything. If I mentioned an ingredient or item I needed, he pointed to the upper cabinet where it was located or went to the lower cabinet to get it. He had a better memory for things than I did! He wanted to help, and I always found a way to let him assist me. I also kept praising him for how much he did and how he helped me. He became my sous chef. His parents needed Ezra out of the way as they packed suitcases, so I asked if he could help me clean up, and he dashed over and stuck with me to sweep, wipe counters, and even wash car windows.
Encouragement is the fertilizer that grows servant hearts.
Karen Whiting is an award winning author of 26 books for children and adults, writing and marketing coach, international speaker, and grandma of twelve. Her latest book is 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve. www.karenwhiting.com