I recently found myself sitting in a college information meeting for my son – my eighth grade son. I must be honest I sat there in disbelief. This was not supposed to be happening yet. I thought I had four more years before I had to think about all of this.

My son is like many other High school students, is in a place of searching for a lot of answers in life. Where to go to college? What classes and extracurricular activities do I need to get where I want to go? And so much more! The pressure keeps being pushed to younger and younger students. 

As I sat there, I could not stop thinking about the one fact that was staring me in the face. No, it was not all the amazing things that my son will accomplish with his life. No, it was not the thought of what in the world will my son major in. 

I sat there with the stark realization that my soon will only be living in my house, under my direct influence, for four more years. What will I do with that time? No matter what age our kids are, a clock it ticking down to when they will leave the protection of our home.  

I found myself asking, “How do we teach our kids to seek and serve when our culture teaches  them to ask, ‘what is in it for me?”

I was reminded that we as Christ-followers we have a mandate tin Romans 12 to view our lives as living sacrifices that we generously give away. What does that mean? It means to search for what needs to be done. 

What needs to be done?

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. (1 Peter 4:10 NLT)

In a world that is telling my son that it is all about him. I want to teach him to, use his gifts well to serve others well – “to see my life as a living sacrifice.” I want him to see me throw the ball with the kid who does not have a dad living at home. I want him to see me serving at a food pantry. I want him to see me giving a listening ear, even when things are busy. I want him to see me seeking and responding to God – ultimately learning to focus on the needs of others and not my own wants and desires. It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone. The main thing is we must teach our kids to have their eyes open for people in need by putting others first ourselves. 

What I know to be true is this, “Teens will not learn what they don’t see modeled.”

Lord, please help us as parents model what it means to seek and to serve you with all our hearts. Amen. 

Ultimately learning to focus on the needs of others and not our own wants and desires is what I want to teach my son. 

Serving is sacrifice with great reward! 

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