I have truly loved our study on humility this month and have seen growth and awareness abound, not because of anything I am doing but because when we pray for the Holy Spirit to move and work in our families we can be confident that we will see and participate in things that are too great and wonderful to have been accomplished by our own strength. This month, our activities are rooted in two areas: 1. Serving others as a way to value them above ourselves and 2. Building others up as opposed to bragging about our own accomplishments. Both areas fuel our desire to grow a humble heart in our children and ourselves.
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Matthew 20:26-28
Who likes to pick up trash? I can’t think of anyone who just loves to go and pick up trash, especially trash that is not their own. But, to be humble means to be a servant, to find ways to serve others. Invite your children to create a tool that will help them pick up trash! Select a park in an urban area that is sure to provide lots of opportunities. My boys were a hundred times more excited to participate when I told them we would be going to Dragon Park to first pick up trash and then to play!
Justice immediately said that he did not need to make anything because the ‘hand grabber’ would be a perfect tool. Fair point. But, there were four of us, so we needed a few more tools. I invited the boys to make a tool that had a sharp end and could help them pick up pieces of trash without having to worry about germs. Justice found this stick, and we went to work! After tearing off the branches, Whit helped count toothpicks to attach to one side of the stick.
We used some packing tape to wrap around the stick and then took turns sticking toothpicks to the tape, at the end of the stick. I thought there was zero chance this would actually work, but can you believe it NEVER broke? In fact, we didn’t lose one toothpick!
After picking up lots and lots of trash, we took a break to play! On the drive home, my five year old, Banks, who was the most skeptical about this endeavor said, “That was actually fun. When can we do this again, so Chip can come with us?”
During family meetings or dinner time take turns sitting in the HOTSEAT! When it’s your turn, everyone gives you compliments for two minutes straight. You simply sit and listen using eye contact and a grateful response. That’s it!
“Let someone else praise you and not your own mouth.”Proverbs 27:2
How does this point kids to being humble?
- The person who RECEIVES the compliment practices responding with gratitude and gets to experience the joy in another person praising them and calling our their strengths.
- Others learn to GIVE compliments and realize that just because we give a compliment doesn’t mean we are not good at something. It’s simply taking the focus off of us and putting it on someone else.
- When we are not too busy patting ourselves on the back, it leaves room for other people to lift us up, and we get to practice humility.
Secret Service Agent
Being a servant to others can quickly turn into doing acts of service JUST to be noticed by others. So, we created a Secret Service Badge. When I spot the boys being humble and serving someone, without making a big deal about it, they get to wear their very own SS Badge! They have enjoyed learning all about the real Secret Service as they completed Secret ACTS of Service around the house and community. Print off the pattern below and grab one of these retractable name badge’s from Amazon for an activity that will last all month long!
Athletes Displaying Humility
To connect with my sports-loving child, I found a few clips of athletes on YouTube. We watched their speeches and decided if they had shown humility. Bryce Young’s acceptance speech after winning the Heisman Trophy and Derrick Henry’s press conference after the Texans game were our favorite. This is real Character In Action!
Hymns with Mr. Marc
Would you believe our next door neighbor grew up in a family who traveled around the world singing Southern Gospel hymns? Marc Speer, or Mr. Marc, as he is known to our family, has a gift. Anytime Whit is screaming in the car, we pop in Mr. Marc’s c.d. and immediately he is calmed. At first the older boys didn’t know the words or tunes to these unfamiliar songs but as we have listened to them many times over the past two years, they have grown to love them and even request Mr. Marc’s c.d. when Whit is not crying!
I believe listening to hymns with our children teaches them Biblical truths while providing a unique bonding experience. Mr. Marc is graciously recording hymns for CB&J that we can use with each WOW Word. Our first hymn of the month is Victory in Jesus.
Being able to show humility in winning and losing starts by teaching kids that they are already part of the BEST victory ever. This perspective allows them to give glory to God when they win or to congratulate the opposing team when they lose. This doesn’t mean that they are thinking less of themselves, but as C.S. Lewis says, are simply “thinking of themselves less.” Click here to listen to Mr. Marc’s Victory In Jesus!
I am so grateful for Kirsten Shive, the music teacher at Judson Weekday, who put together this Humility Playlist. She is talented as a musician and early childhood teacher. Because of her, our family is introduced to songs we would have never known! The first song on this playlist by Slugs and Bugs has been on repeat in my head (and on Alexa) ALL MONTH!
This activity was so rewarding for me and engaging for the boys, that I want to try and make this happen each week! Not only did it help with the hardest/longest hours of the day (4:00-6:00 pm) by giving everyone something to do, but I think if we continue this activity, it is my hope that they could come to see the joy in serving others while appreciating how much work is involved with fixing dinner each night. And, perhaps, have more grace to try new foods, grab their own refill, and show gratitude to those who have prepared a meal.
I wish I would have taken more pictures, especially of the signs Chip made to hang around the ‘restaurant’ which included phrases that he had seen/heard recently like, “Drink Coke” and more. My favorite part of dinner was dessert. The boys came up with this Candy Buffet all on their own. Let your children’s imaginations take over, the possibilities are endless, but the point is serving others!
I’ll stop there for now, but I would love to hear from you. What ways have you found to be intentional about teaching your little ones about being humble?