Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Family Devotional: Growing Empathy In Our Children

Philippians 2:4

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also care for the interest of others.

There are so many places in Scripture where God calls us as believers to look after the needs of others. Often parents and grandparents want to teach the children in their lives how to give back and care for those in need but aren’t sure where to begin. Here are three ways you can engage with them to help grow empathy:
  1. Talk- Discuss how other kids around the world live… Some have to walk long distances to collect water, don’t have access to clean bathroom facilities or don’t get to have a bath each day. Others go to bed hungry, aren’t able to go to the doctor when they are sick or don’t have any electricity (no phones, no iPads, no tv)! Help them to imagine what other kids experience day-to-day and let them ask questions.
    This conversation will need to be tailored in order to be age-appropriate, however, find a few points you feel comfortable sharing. With teens, you could even share stories from this newsletter or the Bright Hope website.
  2. Pray- Depending on the age of your child or grandchild, pray for children in a specific country and ask God to meet specific needs for children in that country. In Haiti, for example, the average number of years children go to school is 4.9. You could pray that God creates more opportunities for children to attend and stay in school.
    Also ask your child what they would like to pray for- what they say may surprise you.
  3. Act- One of the most powerful things we can do for children is to equip them to make a difference in the lives of others. Brainstorm ways your child(ren) could give back to fundraise for a cause they care about. With some help, younger kids can bake cookies and host a bake sale, or run a neighborhood lemonade stand. Older kids and teens can donate proceeds from doing yard work or babysitting or even hosting a car wash, concert or sports event. Get creative and have fun!
We’d love to hear about your experiences! Share your stories by emailing us at: info@brighthope.org