Serve others – a relationship building skill
Many of the activities that are necessary in a family home are often categorised as life skills – cooking, cleaning and maintenance to name a few. I see this as an opportunity to train our children in the skills they need if they are going to be helpful and practical people, able to serve others.
Who are the others in our life?
Family | Friends | Acquaintances | Community | World
One of the strong, influential thinking around families today is that we need to teach our children independent skills. My heart cringes at this thought. This is not my plan at all. My plan is to give my children life skills in order to be able to help others.
Cleaning – Children can all learn to clean. But can they learn to see what needs to be cleaned? If they can, they will be able to help others by seeing a need and jumping in there and doing it!
Cooking – Children love to cook. I must admit this is a hard one for me as I like to be in the kitchen by myself but we are working on it! The ability to cook leads to hospitality, caring for the needs of people. We have had opportunity to cook for friends who are snowed under, pregnant mums, new parents, and families where there is sickness or age.
Maintenance – Caring for our property is an important skill of stewardship. For the children this starts with their toys and progresses to maintenance jobs such as mowing the lawn or changing light bulbs. Once again, here is a set of skills, if mastered can be used to bless others around us.
Charity – Charity is not a word that is used frequently in today’s everyday language and yet, the need for compassion, and generosity towards the poor (of body, mind and spirit) is still there in our world.
The dictionary definition of Charity is:
- Provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.
- Something given to help the needy; alms.
- Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity.
This is the area of our life where our practical skills can be put to use. There is opportunity to show charity not only in our local community, but also in the world at large.
Being a volunteer starts at home with family friendly activities – leading to a heart that wants to be involved in people’s lives.
Gift Giving – I am reminded of the five love languages, as set out in the book of the same title, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. We understand and speak love by
Quality time | Words of Affirmation | Gifts | Acts of Service | Physical touch
There are many opportunities during our days, during our week, to show people that we love them; be it family or friends.
Read further: Gift giving is educational
Note for Homeschoolers: It is easy to let the pressures of ‘doing school’ rob us of the time it takes to care for others. When we have a discipleship approach to our homeschooling, we will take the time, and know that our children are learning things that are truly important.