For the Good of Your Child, The Joy of Service - Lesson X
Our Bible which begins with ďIn the beginning God created the heaven and the earthĒ quickly moves to our Creatorís plan for men and woman whom he brought forth to have dominion over the Earth.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Our Lord, in the beginning established a principle which all of creation follows and that principle is one of service.
All of Godís creation, from the smallest to the largest, has been brought into being to serve God and in the doing of this He receives glory.
Adam and Eve were brought into this world to dress and to keep the beautiful Garden of Eden that God had established in His perfect creation.
God enjoyed the Garden and He valued the dressing and garden keeping of Adam and Eve and he expressed this by walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
I imagine God looked carefully at their work and was pleased to examine their service.
So Adam and Eve, as all of us are, were created to serve their maker.
They were created to be pleased by what pleased their Creator.
They were created to have joy when their Creator had joy.
They operated by the truth that ďThe joy of the Lord was their strength.Ē
They found strength in bringing joy to their Lord.
Our God is a God of joy and that is proved by the fact that the fruit of the Spirit is joy.
Zephaniah 3:17 tells us, The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
And Psalm 104:31, The glory of the Lord shall endure forever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.
And He did so at the beginning: And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
And God had joy in choosing to join himself in co-laborship with that which He created.
Now joy is a faith word for it springs from an expectation of eternal good.
Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him.
Joy is a profound, compelling quality of life that always rises above events and disasters of which this present world is full.
So God has placed us here to serve, not just to serve, but he has placed us here to serve with joy.
And he has given us songs to sing about this, to remind us not to be governed by circumstances but to be governed by faith.
For: There is joy in serving Jesus
Does this message often come up in your day as events or happenings try to crowd it out?
This is what God wants to throb in your heart.
Joy in serving Jesus.
Serving is giving of oneself to another, and the highest service we can perform is the service to our Lord Jesus Christ.
And this spirit of joy is to be communicated to our children as we journey on our ways.
The training of our children to be servants is best for them and has a great potential for real joy in their lives as they yield their bodies and souls to service for the Lord Jesus Christ.
This does not happen by accident but involves persistent and patient work on the part of all the adults involved in their lives.
Remember this is a battle against their basic nature which rebels against the very thought of submitting themselves to another for the work of carrying out otherís agenda instead of their own.
And not only that, learning to work diligently and joyful in otherís behalf.
But this is what it means to be a servant for Christ.
As we have emphasized all things become new when we enter the realm of Christ.
In this realm parents shed the idea of wanting their children to be served by others rather than serving others.
This is the realm where parents have servantís hearts and are willing to pay the price to rear a child who also has a servantís heart.
These are not parents whose aims and priorities are taken from the world but parents who desire their children to find in Godís word their marching orders, which are always orders of service.
These are not parents who wish to live another life through the life of their child but wish their child to serve God according to His will.
And Godís will is that of giving oneself in the service of others as expressed by the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:35, where he wrote by the pen of inspiration: It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Paul was clear in this. Giving brings joy to the giver.
And this is what we are to make sure we teach our children.
Service with joy.
What is your childís attitude about service?
When given commands to serve what is his or her response?
How does your child approach the carrying out of the command to serve?
God tells us it is more blessed to give than to receive and therefore we as parents are to rear our children to operate in this realm.
We are to communicate this to our children by how we approach the carrying out of the commands of scripture.
Do we do it joyfully or grudgingly?
What is our attitude regarding the giving of ourselves in the service of others?
According to Websterís New World Dictionary, attitude is ďa manner of acting, feeling or thinking that shows oneís disposition, opinion; mental set.Ē
Attitude regulates how we act or feel or think and determines our mental set toward others, our work, and any authority over us.
Children are to be taught to approach every task with the proper attitude if they are to benefit by the experience.
These things are but preparations for living in the adult world.
Parents are to equip their children with these kinds of tools to bring with them when they are born into the family of God.
The fruit of the Spirit is joy and joy will more fruitfully grow in those who are prepared during their childhood with these disciplines.
The earlier getting started in a childís life the more fruitful we can expect the results with regard to his or her attitude.
When we operated our Boarding Home for children it was a must to have our children engaged in service.
With so many in our home it was a necessity.
So each child, regardless of age, had daily duties to perform and one thing I learned is that young children when taught, desire to participate in needed things.
Very young children can be taught to help set the table.
I remember well the little ones getting the napkins, folding them as well as they could and learning where to place them on the table.
And then the silverware likewise.
Even at this young age they contributed and their service was valued.
They can be taught to carry their dirty clothes to the washer and when they are a little older can be taught to wash and dry and fold their own clothes and eventually even do this chore for the whole family and do it with a sense of satisfaction.
They can be trained in the kitchen to help with meal preparation and in time they can prepare it by themselves or with their siblings prepare the whole meal.
By the time a boy is a teen ager he should know how to do automotive duties like changing the oil, changing a tire and washing and waxing the car.
In all these things children will come to an understanding that they are an important and needed part of the family when they contribute service, and with a good attitude and spirit included.
Remember the old saying God helps those who help themselves.
In other words God expects his children to reach as far as they can and He will reach the rest of the way.
But He expects those who can, to do as much as they can and this principle applies to rearing children.
Donít do for children what they can do for themselves.
As soon as they are physically able to do let them begin to do and help when they reach their limit.
Too many parents take the attitude, Iíd rather do it myself!
But what are you here for, to do it yourself or raise children to be servants of God?
These things take time and much effort but will pay big dividends in the long run.
If you have children or if you think they are in your future have an attitude of urgency, start where you are.
It is easier to form the right attitude than it is to reform attitudes that have been improperly developed.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Require that all responsibilities be carried out with a pleasant and joyful attitude.
Deut 12:7b ÖÖ..Ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.
Deut. 12:18b, ÖÖÖthou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.
1 Corinthians 10:31, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Donít permit grumbling or murmuring and donít forget this admonition includes yourself.
Grumbling or murmuring is and infectious disease.
Children learn of life by watching their parents.
If you want to know about yourself take a look at your children.
Remember the old adage: The apple doesnít fall far from the tree or a chip off the old block, or like father, like son.
Also consistency is the rule.
Do your children know you are a man or woman of integrity?
Is your word your bond or can you be manipulated?
When you say something does it happen or do most of your words fall on deaf ears, ears that have heard them time after time without any consequences?
Attitude is caught.
Attitude comes by observation.
What are you throwing to your children?
Look closely and by their actions you may find yourself to have consistently thrown strikes or you may have thrown a wild pitch.
Remember! It takes time, for all worthwhile things do.
But children of God have His grace at their disposal.
Depend on the Lord for your strength for He is on your side in the battle.