The Ripple Effect
How many of you grew up with a role model that you absolutely adored? Mine was my Grandmother Greer. She embodied that “gentle and quiet spirit” found in the Bible. She grew the most impressive vegetable garden, from which she made lots of yummy food to share with others. She made friends with people who were very different from her and she supported worthy causes. She encouraged me with my education and my dreams and always had a lovely smile to share with me. When I think about some important lessons I learned about caring for others, I learned them from Grandmother Greer.
I worked with the youth group in a local church for six years. Because of the strong influence my Grandmother had on me about serving others, I found myself wanting to share this with the youth group. During those six years, we chopped wood, cleaned homes, raked leaves, provided children’s programs, served the senior citizens in our church and planned mission trips to other parts of the state.
When you pour into the life of a child, you know you might not see the fruit of your labor. I am so thankful to see how those youth have turned out as young adults: serving others in the community, the church and throughout the world. They had wonderful parents that taught them these virtues but I am so thankful to have been a small part of such big lives. I wonder what Grandmother would say if she could see the ripple effect of her simple acts of service?
How can we encourage children to share their lives in service to others?
- Model: Let them see you serving others in the community. Take them with you when you share a meal with someone in need.
- Let them help. Operation Christmas Child is a great way to involve kids with helping children in need throughout the world.
- Teach them about virtues. There are SO MANY books that you can read, with a fun activity to follow the book. I’ll be writing a post or two about this in the near future.
- Share about the condition of our world. It’s okay for children to learn that there are others that don’t have food or clean water. As a parent, you know your child best and how to appropriately communicate these needs.
We may never see the ongoing fruit of the labor of love we share with others, as we seek to care about the hurting in our community and world. But it sure is good to know that we can share these virtues with our children and know that they can be a part of that ripple effect, too!