How can parents guide their children to pursue godly service?

The Foundation of Parenting: God’s Word
How can parents guide their children to pursue godly service?

     In The Life-style of a Believer, Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille wrote, “One of the greatest activating principles of human life is the motivation to serve. The principle of service is more powerful than that of financial rewards…. Men who hear the ‘call of God’ most clearly are most likely to easily justify the sacrifice they make in following it.” Jesus Christ’s life sets the example of godly service.
     When he was a child, Jesus’ parents taught him the Scriptures and helped him grow in a knowledge of his heavenly Father and in an understanding of God’s will for his life. God’s Word provided the means for the young child Jesus to learn God’s calling for his life. Even at the age of twelve, he was passionate about doing his Father’s business: “…Wist [know] ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). At a young age, Jesus deliberately determined to make God’s will his will and to live a life of godly service and commitment.
     How can parents guide their children to pursue this valuable aspect of life—godly service? We will answer this question by focusing on three key elements: God’s call to a life of service, practical ways to teach children about service, and avenues of service.

God’s Call to Serve
     God has called His children and equipped them for a life of godly service. Ephesians 2:10 states: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” God created us in Christ Jesus. We have all the power and might of God in Christ inside of us. We are His workmanship, and the purpose of this workmanship in us is for good works, for lives of godly service.
     This ability and call to walk in good works is also declared in II Corinthians 5:17-20.
II Corinthians 5:17 and 18:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
     When we are “in Christ,” walking in fellowship, old things are passed away. All things are become new. We put on the new man—that which we are spiritually—as we renew our minds to the Word. God has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. And He has entrusted us with reconciling others to Him. God has given each of us the ministry of reconciliation.
II Corinthians 5:19 and 20:
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
     God has provided us with a powerful tool to reconcile others to Him, the Word of reconciliation. God has called us to represent the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth as ambassadors for Christ, right now, today. What a calling of service!
I Corinthians 7:22:
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.
     We are called in the Lord, and this calling gives us great purpose in life. Our thankful response to all that Jesus Christ did for us is to give our lives in service to others.
I John 3:16:
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
     God calls His children and gives them the ability to fulfill their calling in service to Him.

Practical Ways—Positive Examples
     What are some practical ways parents can guide their children to pursue a life of godly service? One of the most powerful ways to inspire children is to provide them with positive examples of loving service. We’ll see several practical actions parents can take as we read the following testimonies. These are from children who have been raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and who have chosen to serve as Way Corps ministers.

     “From a very young age, I saw my parents helping people. I can never remember Dad or Mom doing anything grudgingly. They were always loving, kind, and generous. After they got involved with The Way Ministry, I could tell that they had even more to give people. They had answers to life. They were solution-minded and helped others to be that way. They taught people to believe God and His Word and to work hard at everything in life.
     “I have good memories of going with them to meetings, events, or work times. This put me in a position to observe, contribute, and learn. I saw people healed mentally, physically, and spiritually. I believe that all this contributed to the development of my caring attitude.
     “During my high school years, I made it a point to help my friends and my teachers whenever I saw I could help them to be positive in a situation. I found it satisfying to help others.
     “Then sometime after high school I decided to spend more time with the believers in the fellowship. The household fellowship coordinators were a married couple who went ‘into the trenches’ to help people. I saw them walk by revelation in many situations. I could recognize what was going on because I had learned to look for this as a young person watching my parents.
     “I decided I wanted to take my ability to help people to that level. It was at this time that I met my future husband. One day he asked me what I was going to do next—our ministry’s outreach program or our leadership program, The Way Corps. I told him I was thinking about The Way Corps. He said, ‘How about we do that together?’ And we did.”—C.F.

     Here we see that parents can take their children with them as they give out of kindness and generosity. This is one way to set the pattern for children to walk in a life of godly service. What are some other practical actions?…

This is an excerpt from the November/December 2007 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2007 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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