As we enter this new year, I have been thinking about the things that matter the most and the things that I want my children to truly gain knowledge of as they grow.
Something that has been laid on my heart recently is consideration. My oldest daughter possesses the natural gift of humanitarianism. She was born to give, help and nurture. If she witnesses somebody hurting, she will automatically think of ways to make them smile.It’s a beautiful gift.
Sometimes when you are a giving person you can be hurt by people not appreciating you or using you. I myself have learned that the hard way. But when God puts that giving spirit in your heart it is what you are called to do. I never want my daughter to lose that wonderful aspect of her personality.
However, kindness is not just something you are born with; it also is taught. In a world where children are enabled and spoiled, it can be hard to teach them that giving back is just as important.
It is not only about giving earthly possessions it is about giving compassion rather than condemnation towards others around you.
I work near a homeless camp. Many people shun the homeless and feel they are not even worthy of a hello. A woman I work with named Jerri and others go out of their way to show them love and compassion. It brings me such joy to see how they respond to this consideration that they are given just from a cup of coffee or a warm smile.
I have overheard many people say the Jerri and others at my work are wrong for associating with the homeless. Most of us have been taught to steer clear from people who look different or who may not have the things that we do. Yet, the amazing thing is the love and happiness these people who are so down on their luck have. Some of them are beautiful souls who just need help.
I still use caution and make sure that the involvement I have is in a safe and secure environment. I would never want my children approaching strangers and you have to be smart when it comes to these things. Yet, there are ways to be giving and loving without compromising your family’s safety.
I have decided to come up with a few projects for the coming year that my children and I can work on and I am going to ask my friend Jerri to help us. These projects are ways to show your children to have compassion and consideration while still teaching them to be safe and smart about helping others.
One of the things I am going to work on with my children is making food bags. We’ll gather the groceries for each bag, and then my children will get to color and decorate the bags. Then myself or other co workers will hand them out to those we come across who need it for their families.
My middle daughter loves to collect money and then give it away. She has a jar of pennies that she collects and then the first person she sees she hands them the money and starts all over again. I am going to take her example and have all of my children put coins that they find on the ground or around the house in a change jar. Then when we have enough change, I am going to encourage them pick out some things at the store that will help someone in need.
As a Christian parent, I want my children to have compassion toward all people. We all go through difficult financial times. At the same time, I’ll be teaching my kids those who aren’t in obvious need deserve respect and grace. God loves us all and He created us all in His image. He is a giving God. In turn, we should all give love and help to those we come across.
Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24-25 (NLT)
Children will learn by example when it comes to how we treat those around us. This year, join me as we show our children to be considerate and loving, not judgmental. God calls us to share ourselves and the gifts he gives us to those around us. Let’s do it!