One of our priorities in training our children was to try to teach them to be others-focused, or in other words, to build within them a heart of service. This doesn’t come naturally. We are all more attentive to our own needs naturally. We need to train our children to stop and intentionally think about what another person is going through and what we might do to help them out.
Perhaps one of the earliest tools we created to teach them this principle was what we called the
Head to Foot Bible Verse Board. Our first one for our son Rickey was made from a crude piece of plywood on which we laid him down and traced his outline. As time went on, and resources increased, we took a picture of our child, had it blown upto poster size, cut them out of the picture and attached their picture to a poster sized piece of paper. I then looked up verses of how to use the various parts of their bodies for the Lord and attached these verses to the same paper the picture was attached to. The idea behind this was to illustrate Romans 12:1 (“ I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy , acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”) which we wrote on the top of the sheet of paper, explaining how our bodies are a temple of God to be consecrated for His purposes. We then placed it in a poster sized frame and hung it in their bedroom. Each night before bed or nap time, I would let the child choose a different part of the body and we would review the verse associated with it.
KNEE- Ephesians 3:14 “For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
EYE- Proverbs 4:25 “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” (Here is a reminder to control what we look at and to use our eyes to honor the Lord and His ways and not to be distracted with things of the world. )
HAND- Proverbs 10:4 “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand, but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” (Hence an admonition to be diligent in all that we do for God’s glory)
FEET- Proverbs 4:27 or Ephesians 6:15
The idea behind this was to instruct our child that they were not here to make it a goal to amuse or please themselves necessarily, but to submit their body to God’s purposes and His ways.
I Peter 5:5 in one version of the Bible instructs us to wear the overalls of humility in serving one another. For this reason, I always took their picture while they were wearing overalls and told them this was to be their attitude to others- to put on their overalls of humility and defer to the other person’s wishes whenever possible.
It was just a baby step in teaching them to have a heart of service.
More next week!