I’m not going to lie. When I think about having kids someday it scares me to death. I am fully responsible for the well-being of this tiny little baby. A baby who needs nurturing, guidance, love, and discipline. A child that we hope to raise to know who Jesus is. A child that we hope will be kind, responsible, generous, and thoughtful. We want to raise a child that will show God’s love to the world around them.
But in today’s world there is a lot of emphasis put on this idea of “looking out for number 1”. Kids are seeing that it’s okay to be selfish and “me-centered”. People are so focused on their wants and needs that they forget to look at those around them. But God didn’t intend for us to think this way.
So how can Christian parents do their best raising a selfless child in a selfish world? Here are 3 biblical principles that parents can use to help guide their children to think about those around them and to love on the people in their world.
Love Like Jesus
Now if you are raising your child in a Christ-centered home, you may think this is a no-brainer. To love like Jesus loved others is what we are all trying to do. But it is easier said, than done.
Parents, raising your child to be selfless in a selfish world starts at home. You have to love like Jesus in all aspects of your life. Your kids are looking to you for the example that you are setting. So love your spouse well. Be encouraging, put their needs before your own, let your kids see you serve one another. By seeing this example of loving your spouse day in and day out, no matter the circumstance, your child will see first hand how to love like Jesus.
There are some verses in Ephesians that are often read at weddings. Ephesians 5:22 is talking directly to wives and in verse 25 it is talking to husbands. These verses are telling husbands and wives how to serve one another. Wives are to submit to their husbands and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. These are both SELFLESS ways to love others.
When your kids see you and your spouse loving one another as Jesus loves us, they will get a first hand look at what living and loving others should look like. Start by setting that example at home to raise kids that are selfless in a selfish world.
The Good Samaritan
If you are looking for a great story that Jesus told about being selfless, look no further than the story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. Jesus tell this story to the experts in the religious law.
In this story there is a Jewish man who was attacked and left along the road to die. 3 different people come past this man. The first two-a priest and a Levite see the man, ignore him and continue on their way. It wasn’t until the 3rd man-a Samaritan, who was not liked- had compassion for this injured man.
This is such a good example to teach kids what Jesus taught about being selfless. How to put the needs of others before your own. Read this story with your kids and talk about ways they can be like the Good Samaritan to people in their life.
The third way you can help your child be selfless in a selfish world is by serving others.
26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Matthew 20:26-28
In these verses, Jesus is talking to his disciples about the importance of serving others. It is important to teach children that as Christ-followers we need to be willing to serve other people. We may have to put our own needs, comfort, and ideas to the side and focus on what others need.
A great way to teach your child to serve others as Christ has called us to do is to serve together as a family. You can do this at church, in the community, on a mission trip, or even at home.
Although I am not a parent yet, the thought of raising a selfless child in selfish world seems daunting. But for all you parents trying to raise your kiddos to be fully devoted followers of Jesus-Christ, stay in God’s word and use it as your guide to teach them to live and love like Jesus.