One of the things we would like to encourage in our children is having a servant's heart. It's been said that to be a great leader, you must first be a servant!
The Lord Jesus himself served the disciples by washing their feet in the upper room. Galatians 5:13 says, "serve one another humbly in love."
Since Valentine's Day is all about love, I want to share some ideas for acts of service that children can do for others during this season of the year. We've enjoyed doing these with our children, and even the littlest ones can help!
Collect items for a food pantry
Last fall our church collected much-needed food and toiletries for families who utilize our local food pantry. They really appreciate donations all year round, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas! This would be a great way to show the love of Christ around Valentine's Day and a lesson in recognizing how we can provide for others because of the way we've been blessed.
Write a letter or draw pictures to send to a far-away family member or shut-in
My mother-in-law has what she calls a shut-in letter that she sends to older family and church members who aren't able to get out as often as they'd like. It's so popular, she says people who hear about it request a copy for themselves! Everyone loves getting mail and my grandparents especially like cards and pictures from our children.
Bake Valentine's Day themed treats for a neighbor or some friends
You could try these Valentine's Day Cookies with a Surprise Crunch or White Chocolate M&M Valentine's Day Bars or of course any basic heart-shaped sugar cookies recipe!
Based on Richard Scarry's book of the same name, we wrote down several things we loved about each other, drew pictures and exchanged the cards just for fun. Sometimes we forget to show love to our own family! You can see details about how we did this with our two oldest children here.
Inspire your children to acts of love and kindness with a craft
I love this Valentine's Day Countdown Acts of Love activity from Make and Takes. This would be a great project to put together as a family and the little things you can do for others each day can really show God's love in a purposeful way.
How do you encourage your children to "serve one another in love"?