In our home we talk often of being servants of each other and those around us. We go beyond the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated but rather try to mold into our children that we treat others as better than ourselves.
This was not an idea we came up with on our own nor one that we want them to do so that others will look at them and say, “oh look, what kind children.” though, don’t get me wrong, they have learned that it does most often work to their benefit!
We get the model of servanthood directly from scripture. Jesus, the messiah of the world, came not to be served but to serve. The one who rules all and could, quite simply, demand to be worshiped and adored, humbled himself. He washed feet. He talked with women. He died a horrible death. All of these as a way of serving those he loved.
I remind my children often that Jesus didn’t march into temples all pompous and arrogant and demand the best cut of the fattest calf. He ate at the tax collectors house, the ones who were despised.
As a mom I never quite know what’s sinking into my boys heads. I find myself wondering if they’re day dreaming while I talk or whether in their heads they’re thinking, “yeah yeah mom. We’ve heard this a million times.”
But it’s moments when I see what we teach work out in their lives that it makes every single teaching moment worth while. My eleven year old has brought much frustration to me over the past year but this last week he has shown in such glorious ways that he is getting it. Oh, how it brings joy to my heart!
Last weekend my jaw nearly fell open in the grocery store as he walked over and said, “here mom, let me get those” and proceeded to take every single grocery bag out of my hand and carry them to the truck for me.
A few days later after dinner, with zero prompting (!), he asked, “hey mom, is there anything I can do to help?” Um – yes! Yes there is!!
And later in the week as we were all in the backyard enjoying the sun and I was going on about how glorious it was to feel the warmth but added how it would be perfect if I just had something shading my face. Not two minutes later my boy is back with an umbrella which he propped up perfectly to shade my face. Then he ran upstairs and got me a pillow and again asked the question, “is there anything else I can do for you mom?”
He wasn’t looking for anything. He wasn’t buttering me up or preparing to tell me that he had broken my favourite coffee cup. He was serving me with a humble heart. He is beginning to understand what a joy it is to bless others. I was joyful to be the one being blessed. In turn, this made me want to serve him in some way.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure there will still be battles of will and frustration but it was so nice to see the little glimmers of him growing up.