The Benefits of Serving With Your ChildrenSuzanne Broadhurst
Do you wonder if serving others is worth the time and energy? Before we talk about the many benefits of serving with your children, let’s get real about time and energy. It’s limited.
We can’t serve everyone all the time. But we can serve those in our path, in our world a little at a time. Don’t feel like you have to dedicate every other hour to serving outside your home. If you are homeschooling, your major attention needs to be at home. But make a little room for serving, too.
Serving Meets Real Needs
Our homes are real and the individuals in our homes have real needs. The real world has real needs, too. And they really need us.
Serving our communities meets a real need of the real world using the real people in our real homes.
Our homeschooling world, necessarily and by choice, revolves around our home, the foundation of civilization (yes, it’s that important).
The world, however, does not revolve around our home or our homeschooling endeavors.
Sometimes we need the perspective that service brings. I remember an older woman telling me once, “At home, we are in control of many decisions. When we leave home, we think we can still have that level of control. But it’s not ours to control.”
Yes. That hurt. But it also saved my soul from continued and self-magnified stress at home and beyond.
Help for Depression and Anxiety
I struggled with depression and anxiety while homeschooling my two children. The world seemed to rest upon my shoulders. At least their worlds did. With life-threatening health challenges, every meal, every activity, every decision was weighted by whether it would extend their lives or end them.
Serving with my children, outside the home, helped me immensely. Carving out just a wee bit of time, helped me see that others were going through major life challenges, too, including the reality of my greatest fear, losing my child.
Of course, I also saw the mountain out of molehill situations. “She’s worried about her child’s skinned knee? I’m worried my daughter might lose her leg!”
The Lord used both – the worse than we had it and the dear gravy get a grip – situations to woo me to His heart. He showed me compassion. For me. For my children. And for the mom whose worst nightmare was putting a band-aid on her child. Oh to be that mom again!
Opportunity for Application of Knowledge
How many of us in school had the opportunity to put our classroom lessons into real world practice? Most lessons were taught as tangents to the real world, something to be learned to pass a test, not to practice in life.
As homeschoolers, we have the opportunity to apply the knowledge we glean – both as parents and students – serving our communities.
- Biblical knowledge applied is wisdom. Oh to apply wisdom, rainboots in the puddles (homeschool version of boots on the ground) is a parent’s dream!
- Social skills can be applied to culturally unique situations.
- Compassion stirred through literary studies can translate to caring for hurting people in our world today.
- Practical skills, such as cooking, cleaning, serving meals, decorating, writing, computer skills, math, and more can be a great blessing to communities and service organizations.
When we serve beyond our homes, a natural thankfulness follows.
- Thankfulness to those who have cared for us.
- Thankfulness for the blessings we have.
- Thankfulness for abundance to serve from our overflow, even if it begins as a trickle.
- Thankfulness that God provides, so we can serve from our lack.
Offers an Opportunity to Give What We Need
So many times we hold so tightly to the little we have not realizing how much we really have.
Need love? Share love.
Need groceries? Share a meal or a dessert.
Need hope? Share hope.
We may find we have more than we feared we didn’t have.
Remember, serve with your family not instead of them. The benefits you gain together will last far longer than the check mark on your child’s homeschool resume. Or on yours.