Serving as a Family

By Grace Fox
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
©Thinkstock Images
Serving others teaches kids to think beyond themselves and their own needs.

A few nights ago, I read my three kids a bedtime story about a missionary who spent 30 years of his life serving in Nepal. I realized it wasn’t much of a lull-them-to-sleep story, though, as I fielded excited questions and enthusiastic interest.

How will God use my children to build His kingdom? I wondered. Will they serve Him overseas, immersed in a foreign culture? Will they remain in North America, shining as lights in a secular workplace? Whatever their futures hold, how can I help mold them into world changers?

As I pondered the latter question, one thought came swift and clear: Teach them to think beyond themselves and their own needs. World changers, like the storyteller, follow Christ’s example through service. They practice kindness and are willing to sacrifice convenience and comfort for another’s sake.

Serving right where we were

I soon discovered that countless service opportunities surrounded our family, albeit on a simple scale:

  • When missionary families on furlough stayed with us, our kids shared their bedrooms with the children.
  • We provided transportation to Sunday school and midweek kids’ club for children who wanted to attend but whose parents couldn’t take them.
  • We invited friends to invade our lakefront home, on scorching summer days.
  • We delivered meals and drove one pregnant woman’s children to school when she was ordered to bed rest.
  • When an acquaintance’s husband deserted her, we invited her family for dinners and table games.
  • We purchased fabric and sewed a dress for a girl whose single mom couldn’t afford to buy her one.

Bringing it to the Father

Serving others helped our kids see beyond themselves. Still, we could do something more: pray for our children’s spiritual well being.

Frankly, sometimes I felt like a parrot with a limited vocabulary: “Lord, please bless my kids.” My sentiments seemed so generic.

Things improved when we began praying God’s Word. Specific Scriptures addressed our concerns.

Because we wanted our children to exemplify Christ, Philippians 2:3-8 became a favorite prayer guide:

“God, teach our children to humbly consider others better than themselves. May they look not only to their own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

We also asked the Lord to bless our kids, not necessarily with wealth or fame or an easy life, but that through them, His way would be known on Earth and His salvation among all nations (Psalm 67:1-2).

Seeing that it sank in

God honored our efforts and answered our prayers. More than a decade after that unforgettable bedtime story, our eldest boarded a ministry ship to participate in God’s work around the world. As I write this, the ship sits in hurricane-devastated Grenada, its crew building shelters for the homeless.

The second, a Bible college sophomore, hopes to teach English overseas after graduation.

The third, now 18, spent three weeks teaching Bible clubs in Mexico last summer. She plans to return in July.

Raising world changers begins at home. From there, only God knows — and that’s exciting!

Copyright © 2005 by Grace Fox. Used by permission.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

You May Also Like

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.