If we are teaching our children to be followers of Jesus, we must teach and encourage them to help others! Children naturally love to help, yet we often get so involved in what we need to accomplish as parents that we forget to include our children when we are serving. We can give them age-appropriate opportunities, and we can model what it looks like to help others, so they can learn to show God’s love by meeting people’s physical, monetary, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Physical Needs:  We can teach our kids to help those who have physical needs- who need us to DORaising children who help others. something for them.  When our kids are young, we can teach them to help around the house, which is
a great training ground for helping others in this way. (see my blog and devotional on responsible heart here.)  As they grow older, we can teach them to seek opportunities to help someone less capable.  We can point out opportunities and eventually they will learn to find those themselves.

 “And we urge you, brothers and sisters…help the weak.” 1 Thes 5:14 (NIV)

  • completing chores (unloading dishwasher/folding clothes)
  • helping younger siblings get ready for the day, do homework, etc.
  • opening doors for others, picking up dropped items
  • helping those with physical limitations such as wheelchair-bound/sick/ elderly

Monetary Needs: Jesus says we will always have the poor among us, (Matthew 26:11) and He calls us to help those in need of resources. Most of us have a plethora of possessions, and it’s easy for our children to become discontent and even greedy.  Redirecting their focus to helping those who have less is a great cure for discontentment and a great way to show love to those who have a need.

 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha; she was always doing good and helping the poor.” Acts 9:36 (NIV)

  • donating food or clothing
  • earning money to help those in need
  • publicizing a need to raise money in the community

Emotional Needs: There are many lonely, hurting people in the world, and we miss opportunities every day to minister to them because we don’t know their needs. We can teach our children to take the time to talk with people and find out how they are REALLY doing and minister to their emotional needs.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11 (NIV)

  • asking people how they are doing in an AUTHENTIC way
  • listening to people share their hurts and discerning how you can help
  • getting to know others on a deeper level by inviting them to spend time with you

Spiritual Needs:  While people don’t always open up about spiritual matters, when we help with their other needs first and show them we care, we can ask questions to allow them the opportunity to share their hearts with us spiritually.  We can be sensitive to the Holy Spirit working in their lives and know when it’s time to pray for someone or share the good news of Jesus. Doing this as a family will train our children how to help others spiritually as well!

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15 (NIV)

  • asking to pray for others’ needs
  • inviting others to church
  • sharing the gospel

Raising children who are sensitive to helping others is SO important to making disciples of Jesus.  Jesus WANTS us to help others on a daily basis!  If we teach our children to be attentive to the needs of those around them, and if we make this a habit in our family, we can make a great impact on a hurting world by leading them closer to Jesus, the one who is TRULY able to help.

To view and/or print the helpful heart devotional to go through with  your children, click here.

Please leave a comment or question below.  Would love to hear from you!