One of the Bible stories that fascinated me as a child was the story of Gideon. It was amazing to me that how a man drank water from a stream determined whether or not God would use him in an important battle. Or that a young boy’s lunch not only fed 5,000 people, but became an example of how God can take our little things and make them into something amazing.
It is so important for us as Christian parents to teach our kids the importance of the little things in life. Sometimes it really is important for our kids to “sweat the small stuff”. Our kids need to know God expects us to obey all of His commands and that He will indeed notice if we choose to ignore and disobey this one little command. Or that one small act of reflecting God’s love to someone can open that person’s eyes to God’s presence. Or that one harsh word can create a scar in another person’s heart. Or that when they thank someone or tell someone how talented or special they are, it can show them God’s love in a tangible way or give someone the strength to keep going.
Just telling our children how important the little things are probably won’t do a whole lot of good. It is important to demonstrate and have them practice some of these important little things until they become a part of who they are. There are a million little things that can set Christians apart as that famous “light on a hill”, but here are a few of my favorites for kids:
- Get your children in the habit of collecting things to serve others. Pop tops from cans of soda and food are needed by the Ronald McDonald House Charity. Saving and donating those pop tops can help ease the journey for families with critically ill children. Cans of food can feed the hungry. Encourage your children to get creative. What little thing can they collect and donate to reflect God’s love to others?
- Teach your children to be little gratitude spreaders. Have them thank every teacher they have at the end of every class. Have them thank the person who hands them their food or delivers the mail. Expressing gratitude to those who make your life better in some small way is becoming a lost art. When your child is continually grateful, it is a wonderful reflection of God’s love and our appreciation to God for everything He has given us.
- Train your children to be encouragers. Not insincere flatterers, but people who can find the good, the special and the lovable in everyone they encounter. Teach them how to speak up and tell people when they do something special or encourage them to try again when they fail. Help them be that positive light the Apostles often counseled Christians to be in their communities.
- Have a child who loves to knit or crochet? This article suggests really easy first projects needed by various charities around the country. It doesn’t take much time or money to knit a square or crochet a scarf, but it can make a huge difference in the life of someone who is struggling.
- Do you love to bake cookies with your children? Even that refrigerator dough makes a tasty treat for someone who is lonely, struggling or new. Bake a batch together and deliver them as a family. Spend some time reflecting God’s love by listening to the people and truly hearing their hearts.
So take some time today to teach your kids about the important little godly things in life. Then work together to do at least one little thing for someone to show them God loves them. You may find doing the little things becomes a big thing for your children.