One of my goals for the New Year is to use my house more -- to use our home as a hub for hospitality, ministry and refreshment for others. After all, 'service' doesn't always have to be on a large-scale basis such as flying to a foreign country or working with a well-known program or project. It can mean that we take advantage of the ordinary, every-day opportunities we have right in our own homes and neighborhoods.
Think about it for a minute. Wouldn't our churches and communities be more vibrant (and healthier!) if we regularly opened our homes to have meals together, got to know one another on a deeper level, and built stronger emotional ties? So it starts right where we live...
My 'take' on service is basically this: Teach your children to serve in the home, and you'll equip them to one day serve effectively outside the home. Service can be as simple as looking at the person right in front of you at the moment, and considering how to help them in some tangible way.
I'm sure you're already doing these things, but I encourage you to do them all the more. Here we go:
1. Teach your kids to constantly think of others. Remind them of the Golden Rule: "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you." -- Luke 6:31
2. Invite people into your home -- people from different walks of life. Either serve a simple meal, or have hot chocolate or coffee. Sit and talk and enjoy the company of others.
3. Have your kids do things for their siblings -- for no reason at all except to bless them. "Make your sister's bed, pour milk for your brother, or tidy the bathroom towels"... things like that.
What we're saying to our children is this: PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT! And, in essence, we teach by the example that we set.
I'm looking forward to opening my home many, many times in the year ahead, and I hope you are, too!