As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids. This is number 44 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.
Today, I want to suggest an idea that’s memorable and works on the practical implementation of sacrifice for the cause of Christ. Sometimes, because of our American affluence, we do give to the church, but while we, as parents, may understand some of the luxuries or amenities we may be putting on hold or doing without due to our dedication to the church, our kids never get the benefit of “feeling” the sacrifice. We may be missing the opportunity to put in their hearts the connection between living “less largely” and our commitment to Jesus. Here’s a practical way to connect those dots.
Decide together as a family that you are going to skip going out to eat at one of the weekly or monthly times when you have regularly been eating at a restaurant (even if it’s only fast food). (Our regular time as a family when the kids were growing up was on Sundays after morning worship.) Purpose that you’re going to take the money that you’re saving by eating at home and put it in a jar until you have enough to do something for the kingdom. Make that “something” very specific and enlist the help of your elders if you need ideas. Perhaps your project is to purchase song books for the nursing home worship services. Maybe it is to purchase food for a youth activity. Maybe it is to purchase high chairs for infants for your fellowship hall. Maybe it is to buy cushions for the pews for several elderly people. Maybe it is to stock the benevolence pantry or purchase a new tract rack for some area of the building. Maybe it is to send money to a foreign missionary for the purchase of a bicycle. Just decide on a project and make sure your children are watching each time as Mom or Dad drops the savings into the jar and calculates how far along you are toward the goal. You may want to have some sort of goal measurement or chart on the outside of the jar. Talk about the value of this goal each time you are eating that meal at home rather than at the restaurant. Be sure you connect the fact that you are sacrificing with the good that will be done when the goal is reached. Use the context of II Samuel 24:24 in your Family Bible Time, about refusing to merely give God things which cost us nothing, When you complete the project, be sure you show your kids the fruits of their sacrifice…in the nursing home or the fellowship hall or in a photo from the mission field. Your kids won’t forget this and it’s preparatory for some great rewards of sacrifices they will make as faithful adults. It’s preparatory for heaven!