The Spirit-Led Home: Kindness
If you are a soul that has been born again to a living hope, then the supernatural outcome will be for you to display the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of kindness, meaning “serviceable” and “meeting real needs”, is motivated by an overflow of God’s grace in our lives.
Though we do not deserve His kindness, God daily meets all our needs - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our most tangible example is the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the epitome of kindness on this earth. He spent his life meeting the needs of thousands of people who were poor, sick and hungry. Jesus did not come to serve but to be served and gave his life as a ransom for us. Likewise, our goal is to meet the real needs of people as God gives us opportunities in daily life.
Do I show more kindness outside my home than inside it?
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is it easier to be kinder to other people than my own children?” I know I have. When we give of ourselves in contexts other than the home, people often think we are amazing and lavish us with praise. We never seem that amazing at home and most of the time, our families don’t even notice the services we do every day.I know this has caused me to evaluate my own motivations in being kind and have had to ask myself these questions:
Is my speech kinder to my friends than to my children and husband?When a friend needs something from me, I don’t complain at how inconvenienced I am. Why do I complain when my family needs something from me?Do I offer to help my children or do I only volunteer when it is an activity outside of the home?
Our husband and children are our closest neighbors and should be the recipients of the most kindnesses we extend, not the leftovers. Our children should not see that we are kind to everyone else and stingy at home. Sometimes, it is easy to convey to our children that they are a bother to us. That it is inconvenient for us to help them in some real way. This is not a Spirit-filled attitude. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t make us feel like we are a bother to him, and so we shouldn’t make our children feel that way either.
When I was a young mom, an older mom told me that when she made homemade food (especially dessert) to take to a church event that she always made extra to leave at home for the family to enjoy. To me, this was an example of kindness that might show the family that they are important and loved. I attempted to do this in my own home, as much as I was able. This is just one of many small things that you can do to show love to your family.
Helping Your Child To Think Kind Thoughts
As a daughter of the King, you should find yourself continually thankful for the many blessings that Your Father has provided. It is important to voice these thoughts and direct your children to notice these blessings as well. For example, you might comment to your child that God is so kind to us by giving us food, a home, particular items, health, this opportunity to go on this outing together etc…You might also point out the kind acts of their daddy when he did something with them or fixed a toy or played with them outside. “Isn’t your daddy kind? He sure loves you!” Now, as a grandmother, I have the same opportunity to say to my grandson, “Isn’t your mommy kind? She sure loves you!”
This can also extend to others that we know. We can tell our children, “Teacher Ruth is going on a mission’s trip to Turkey because she wants to tell others about Jesus. She needs some supplies for the trip. Let’s go buy them and deliver them to church and help her put the children’s crafts together!”
Directing Our Child to be Kind to Others
Not only should we be teaching our children about the kind character of God and other godly individuals, but we also need to be teaching them how to think about being kind to their neighbors. It is good to ask things that prompt them to think about kindness, such as “What can you do for your sister that she would like?” Depending on the child and the age of the child, your conversation could go a few different directions. For the toddlers you may need to help them brainstorm.
Do you think sister would like a picture or a note?
Do you think she would like for you to play outside with her?
Do you think she would like for you to share your toys?
Would she like a hug in the morning?
Remember that some children will own the ideas more if they come up with them themselves. This process can be extended to those outside the family as well. On your way to grandma’s house or a play date, you can talk about ways to be kind in the situations they are going into.Sometimes people at church feel that they have “no ministry” or that there is no place for their children to minister. I would disagree with that because “where there are people, there is ministry”. And where a child or adult are showing acts of kindness, that truly is building up the body of Christ.
Questions to Ponder
Are you giving your household the best of yourself or your leftovers?
What is hindering kindness to your “closest neighbors”?
Do you convey an attitude of “inconvenience” you when you serve your family?
How are your thoughts directing your heart and your children to speak of God’s kindness?
How can you include your child in giving service to others with a cheerful attitude?