Sundays were my favorite day of the week as a kid because it meant lunch at my grandparents’ farm after church. When we arrived, everyone pitched in to get the table set and finish prepping the food. I loved visiting my grandparents because there was always something to do at the farm. I wanted our time at Grandma and Grandpa’s to last as long as possible, so after lunch I would search for ways to help.
In the house, I would quietly sneak back to the bedrooms to strip the beds and remake them with clean linens. I would clean the shower in the master bedroom knowing it was hard for my grandparents to do. I would start doing their laundry and press my grandpa’s jeans. Yes, he loved pressed jeans for work. I would head out to the chicken coop to clean and put down fresh straw or hike out to the pasture to dig up the thistles that frustrated Grandpa.
Sundays were days of playing Hide and Seek around the farm finding hundreds of hidden ways to serve my grandparents. Seeing the smile on my grandma’s face at her freshly made bed or feeling my grandpa’s pat on the back of thanks for ironing his jeans gave me a deep sense of joy! An unstoppable joy that I have continued to cultivate in my lifetime and now see being passed down to my daughters.
The beauty of serving others is discovering a sensitivity to the needs of another person. Cultivating this in our children means we must model attentive posturing of the heart toward others with our eyes and ears to see and hear ways we can serve. It’s leading our kids to play the biggest game of Hide and Seek, where winning is discovering serving another.
When we play Hide and Seek, we hide so others can’t discover us. The same is true when we genuinely need help; we can be so embarrassed or ashamed of our need that we hide it from others. In order to seek out how we can serve others, we need God’s wisdom. Engage your family in conversation around these questions.
Conversation Starters to Get Your Family Talking…
• Take turns as a family going around in a circle sharing ways God can use you to serve others: prepare a meal, walk someone’s dog, mow a lawn, make a bed, write a card, weed a garden, etc. Keep going until you run out of ideas.
• God says to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). What are “all these things” that will be given to you?
• Share about a time you discovered a way to serve someone else and how it made you feel.
Start at home. Pray for God to use your family, and then send everyone in the family on a Hide and Seek hunt to discover a way to serve in your home. Challenge your family members to think about how they can serve extended family, neighbors, friends, and strangers.