cultivate (kuhl - tuh - veyt)
v. 1) develop 2) nurture

graft (grahft)
n. 1) transplant 2) bud 3) union

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Let Them: A Saturday Series

This first Saturday series is called "Let Them". There are so many things we just big, fat don't let our kids do. I'm meeting some of those things head-on and seeing what happens.

Let Them Sacrifice

Let's face it. It's uber-easy to let cute, adorable little babies be the center of attention. Of course babies do require a lot of attention, but as babies become toddlers and toddlers become grade schoolers they need to step out of the center of the universe. Otherwise what we end up with is teenagers with entitlement issues and sadistic adults. I paint a bleak picture, but I don't think it's far off the mark. All these parenting books with titles like, "How to Raise Happy Children" kinda make me gag. Just a wee bit. 

I'd much rather raise children who have strong morals than children who have strong desires for more

It can be uncomfortable to watch your children make sacrifices. Sometimes they donate things you wish they would choose to keep. Sometimes you can do nothing to soothe the pain of rejection when their offer to help is rebuffed. Sometimes you may disagree with their method or perceived motivation.* Isn't the outcome worth the pain though? We need the next generation to know what it means to love others for the sake of the gospel. If they don't practice this as younguns, do we really believe it will spontaneously occur in adulthood? 

Of course, the best way to let them sacrifice is to model it in our own lives. Do our children see us justifying our way out of helping someone in need? Do they see us discussing with our spouse why volunteering is 'impossible right now"? If we're not in the business of loving others sacrificially how can we expect to pass the mantle to our children? Let's begin by reflecting on our own sacrificing!

With Lent right around the corner, it's a great time to kick start a sacrificing campaign in your home.** Here's a simple guideline for young kids:

Something that's lasting,
Something you eat.
Save up your nickels,
Or give up a treat.


Lasting. Considering volunteering your time, or doing weekly service projects with your kids. Visit a nursing home or help a neighbor. Do something of lasting value in the lives of others.

Eat. Decide on a favorite food to eschew during Lent (think cookies, pancakes or mac 'n' cheese). Older kids can fast from a meal with you, but obviously you need to consider this more carefully depending on their age. Or work this the opposite way: Eat a simple dinner meal to demonstrate what poverty-stricken children might eat in a day. 

Nickels. Let them choose a ministry to bless. Make a "Lent giving jar" where they can see their money adding up for a great purpose. Perhaps they would like to purchase an animal through World Vision. I mean really. How many kids get to say they bought ducks and rabbits during Lent? They'll start a whole new fad, and you'll be the cool parents and everyone will like you. 

Treat. Everyone enjoys their treat. For some it's pedicures. For others it's golfing. For kids it might be watching cartoons or playing on the computer. Give up a treat and instead allocate that time for diving into the Word or starting a new family devotion. Replace the treat time with kingdom time. You get the idea.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. I don't know about you, but I get excited about a generation that has been encouraged to sacrifice!

Trying To Lead By Example,

*Giving with wrong motivation is still a start and does help foster a habit of giving. 
**I'll take the guesswork out of it. This year, Lent begins on February 13th. You're welcome.


  1. If you want them to not last, let them eat nickels as a treat. (sorry, this is an excellent post. It's just where my brain goes when I see "eat nickels treat" altogether) Love you, friend! :D

    1. I ate a penny when I was a kid. I totally lasted. I guess it depends on how many nickels we're talking about...

      Love you too, Friend!!

  2. Great ideas! I also like the little bags you put together for the homeless. I just shared that idea recently.


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