Do you serve together as a family?
No? Why not?
Here are 6 reasons why you should be:
1. The family that serves together grows together. Relationships are strengthened when you serve as a family. Spending time each week, each month outside your comfort zone leads to personal and family growth. You grow as individuals mentally, physically, socially and spiritually and that individual growth leads to a stronger family dynamic. Exposing your children to service makes you a better parent. It teaches them life lessons that you alone cannot teach. You improve your capacity as a parent because you learn the lessons too.
2. The family that serves together loves together. Serving other is loving others. By serving, families can learn how to love people better. You learn that you let stereotypes, preconceived notions, and mental filters affect how you see people. You jump to conclusions without knowing all of the information or taking time to get to know it. This leads to frustration, anger and hatred. When you surrender yourself and commit to getting to know people, their stories, their situations and their needs, you open the door to truly love them with all of your heart. What person, what family, wouldn’t want to love better?
3. The family that serves together heals together. There is something about serving others that brings about healing. The positive feelings that come from helping someone else allow you to forget your own problems. Working with someone through their struggles and time of need can change your perspective on your own life. You realize that your “major” problem isn’t really that major. Families that spend quality time together serving in some capacity create opportunities to work through their own challenges. Again, it helps with perspective. Spouses realize that the things they argue about are stupid, trivial and unimportant. Brothers and sisters who often “hate” each other recognize the blessing that exists in a caring sibling. Parents come to understand that they children and their “issues’ aren’t so bad. They are things that can be worked through. Healing happens on all levels when you commit your life to service.
4. The family that serves together laughs together. Volunteering can be a fun and enjoyable experience. It is, when appropriate, a great time to joke, laugh and enjoy fellowship with each other. When you laugh together you grown together. This is one of the greatest memories I have of serving with my family over the last few years.
5. The family that serves together influences together. We have learned this one first hand. Thousands of people visit this blog each month. They have found inspiration in what we have done. Many of those people have shared how our influence has led them to acts of kindness and service in their own communities. It doesn’t end there. My children have inspired me to be a better man and a better father. They have inspired me by their actions and love for serving others. They have positively influenced many of their peers as well. As parents we have influenced our children to live life the right way, making others the priority and seeking out opportunities to love people to the best of their ability. Serving others opens doors to influence others.
6. The family that serves together stays together. When you choose to be vulnerable with your family doors of growth open, bonds are created and strengthened, and perspective and outlook change. You shift your focus from flaws, problems and negativity to strengths, blessings and positivity. You value your family members and their contributions. Your love grows for them and you cherish every moment you get together.
Please understand that no family, especially our family, is perfect. We have our shortcomings, our issues, our struggles, and our fights. We are a work in progress. We are, however, better today because we serve together as a family. I am grateful for the experiences we have shared together and every lesson that we have learned.
Do you serve with your family? We would love to hear what you have learned and why you do it. If you aren’t currently doing it, what are you waiting for?