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In a world that often emphasizes individualism and self-centeredness, instilling values of service and sacrifice in the younger generation is more crucial than ever.
As parents and primary caregivers, it’s our responsibility to guide our tweens and teens toward compassion. Service and sacrifice are virtues that can help them understand the practical aspect of compassion and its ripple effect on society. Mom, your efforts in this play a vital role in shaping the future of our society by guiding your children to become responsible and compassionate people. Statistics show that 44% of US adults begin volunteering at a very young age, and if that is anything to go by, our kids can benefit from getting a head start!
5 Ways to Teach Tweens and Teens about Service and Sacrifice
Here are five effective ways to teach tweens and teens about serving and sacrifice:
1. Share Inspiring Stories:
One of the most captivating ways to teach kids about service and sacrifice is through inspirational stories. You want to leave lasting impressions in the minds of your growing children with their whole lives ahead of them. You too can educate yourself on historical figures whose lives were geared toward sacrifice and serving others and share them with your kids. These can be biblical or historical personalities whose remarkable deeds set in motion social justice, rights, unconditional love, and helping the less fortunate in society. For example, we have personally enjoyed learning about missionaries and have been greatly encouraged by this series of books.
Also, be sure you don’t overlook the local heroes in your community, such as firefighters, police officers, healthcare workers, and veterans, who have made a significant impact through their service and sacrifice. Personal accounts from these individuals can open your child’s mind to service, sacrifice, and their positive impact on society. A day trip to the local fire department, a pre-planned chat with a veteran, or a church service highlighting others in your community are excellent opportunities for your children to hear these inspiring stories.
2. Teach Gratitude Through Action:
How often do you teach your young ones to give back to society? Do you volunteer often as a family? Teaching your kids about service to society means getting ready to impart valuable life lessons through actions. These are random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. The earlier your kids learn to practice the habit of gratitude through action, the more grateful they will be in adulthood. What examples can you teach as you focus on gratitude through action? It can start with local community heroes. For example, veterans who have sacrificed their time for the country deserve to be appreciated for their invaluable service.
You can show gratitude through meaningful gifts for veterans that resonate with their sacrifice and service to others. These can be handwritten thank you letters, toiletries, snacks, or inviting one out for coffee or lunch. Involve your children in these acts of kindness, explaining the importance of acknowledging and appreciating others’ sacrifices.
You can also instill the joy of gratitude through giving by encouraging your kids to allocate a portion of their allowance or savings to support a charitable cause they believe in. Let them take ownership and decide the positive actions they want their giving to achieve.
3. Volunteer as a Family:
Volunteerism is an exceptional way to teach tweens and teens about service and sacrifice. It emphasizes the importance of dedicating personal time to helping others without expecting money or anything in return. It teaches children the value of committing personal time to others, showing service and sacrifice. Research shows that families who volunteer together form stronger bonds and share meaningful experiences in pursuit of a common cause.
What are some examples of sacrifice for a family? Engage your children in choosing volunteer opportunities that resonate with their interests and values. Whether it’s serving meals at a local soup kitchen, participating in community cleanups, or assisting at an animal shelter, the act of volunteering as a family reinforces the significance of service. It allows children to witness the impact of their actions and discover their own passions for helping others. Thankfully, there are several ways to volunteer as a family; you just need an online search to see which ones are available.
4. Lead by Example:
Children learn by observing their parents and caregivers. To instill the values of service and sacrifice in your tweens and teens, be a role model. Demonstrate acts of kindness and selflessness in your daily life. Whether it’s helping a neighbor in need, volunteering your time, or making charitable donations, let your children see your commitment to making the world a better place for God’s glory. Leading by example not only reinforces the importance of service and sacrifice but also provides real-life scenarios for your children to learn from.
5. Encourage Empathy and Perspective-Taking:
Empathy is the foundation of service and sacrifice. Encourage your tweens and teens to develop empathy by helping them understand the perspectives and struggles of others. Discuss current events, social issues, and challenges in their world to broaden their awareness of other’s needs. Encourage open and empathetic conversations, allowing your children to express their thoughts and emotions about various issues. By fostering empathy, you enable your kids to connect with the experiences of others and motivate them to take action and make a difference.
the Principles of Sacrifice and service
After considering these practical examples, you may still be wondering how to effectively incorporate teaching on the principles of sacrifice and service in your home or homeschool. After all, that is a great way to naturally instill these values! You understand the importance of helping them grasp the concept that sacrifice entails giving to the Lord whatever He requires of our time, possessions, and energies to advance His work. Additionally, Jesus encourages us to follow His example and serve one another with love. However, the question remains: How do we effectively teach this to our kids?
What is a good verse to teach your kids about serving? What about a Bible lesson on sacrifice?
Here are some ideas to help get you started in coming up with a Bible lesson on service and sacrifice:
- Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
- Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
- Joshua 22:5 But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
- In John 13:15, Jesus sets an example for us to follow. After washing His disciples’ feet — an act of love, humility, and service He encourages us to follow His lead and serve one another in love.
- Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
- And here are 20 more Bible Verses About Serving
Remember, teaching tweens and teens about service and sacrifice is a valuable investment in their character development.
These virtues not only enrich their lives but also contribute to a better world. By sharing inspiring stories, demonstrating gratitude through action, volunteering as a family, leading by example, and encouraging empathy, you empower your children to become responsible people who understand the profound impact of service and sacrifice. As they grow, these values will guide them to make meaningful contributions to their communities and shine the light of Christ in a dark world!