Grayden, my oldest, has a remarkable heart to serve.
I can remember a friend complimenting me on how well he cleaned up at the age of 2. "How did you teach him to clean up so well?" she says. "I didn't really. I ask him and he usually just does it."
At the age of 3, he literally would follow me around as I cleaned the house helping me however he could.
At the age of 4, I could ask him to go out in the front yard and pick up all the walnuts (we have a huge walnut tree) for me so that I could mow the grass. He would have the determination to spend 30 minutes picking up close to a hundred walnuts.
At the age of 5, he initiated asking questions like, "Do you need any help mom?" OR "What can I do to help?"
And now at the age of 6, he often sees how he can help and does it without even asking or being told to do it. Honestly, there are many mornings he shaves off 10-15 minutes of work for me, specifically preparing and packing for the day, so that we can get out the door.
Please understand that I am not saying all this to parade my child around. This is not coming from a "haughty" or bragging spirit. The kid's hardly perfect. I'm just honestly dumbfounded by how faithful of a servant he is. And I'm truly blessed every day by his acts of service.
While his brother Cole has many strengths of his own, unfortunately serving is really not one of them. It doesn't seem to come as naturally for him like it does Grayden.
Yesterday was a prime example. I asked the boys to help out the "team" by cleaning up the basement toys that were scattered all about. I needed 15 minutes to get ready and promised that when we all were finished with our tasks we could play some board games. They both agreed.
Well 15 minutes later I walk down to the basement and Grayden is serving away, nearly finished cleaning up the huge mess of toys. I look all around for Cole and don't see him anywhere.
I ask Grayden, "Where is your brother?"
He says, "Upstairs putting a puzzle together on his bed."
So, I walk upstairs and find him just chilling on his bed playing with a puzzle.
This is common. Cole avoids work, specifically any service that doesn't really benefit him. And he's figured out that he can sit around and do nothing while Grayden does all the work.
The rest of the story went as you might assume...Cole lost the chance to play games and spent the next hour in his bed.
I often thank the Lord for Grayden's heart for serving. And I also pray that God would cultivate and grow his heart for serving Jesus.
BUT, I am always praying that God would change Cole's heart and make him a servant.
Many of us have children who, like Cole, struggle to serve. And many of us struggle to serve. It's human nature to avoid service, right? We are selfish at heart and aren't always interested in doing something for someone else.
But, at the heart of a relationship with Jesus is a willingness to serve.
In Luke 22 Jesus speaks to the importance of having a servant's heart,
24 Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. 25 But Jesus intervened: "Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. 26 It's not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant. 27 "Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You'd rather eat and be served, right? But I've taken my place among you as the one who serves.
Jesus laid his rights and life down to serve this world.
And His expectations is that we would do the same for Him.
We are ALL called to serve in Kingdom work.
And we can't just sit back and let someone else do all the work.
So won't you join me today and let's pray for our children's hearts...
When it comes to serving You aren't asking our children to do anything You didn't do (and on a much greater scale). Today I pray that you would mold my children's hearts for Your service. May they learn to lay themselves down for Kingdom work. And may they lead as You did, with service. For those children who seem to have an easier time serving, keep their hearts strong for service. For those children who struggle to serve, may they be moved and motivated by Your service to them on the cross. May their love for You inspire a heart devoted to Your service.