I want my kids to grow up to be world changers. That’s why I am so happy to bring you this guest post by my friend, Kristen Welch from We are That Family. She has a new book that launches today, Raising World Changers In A Changing World…
Our world changes every time I turn on the TV.
It seems to get a little scarier and a lot more uncertain with every passing day. Whether it’s mass shootings, terrorist plots, racial tension or extreme weather, some days it feels like the sky may actually be falling. But even on cloudless days, it is an intimidating and daunting time to raise children in our changing world.
And we have a choice: We let the world change us or we change it.
My husband and I didn’t exactly plan to raise world changers. But the moment we started teaching our kids to put others first, we discovered small acts of kindness and compassion do change the world. But mostly they change us.
Honestly, our lives look nothing like I thought they would. I spent the first half of mine trying to create a happier life for my family, but instead of feeling satisfied with all that filled our home and hearts, we felt hollow and empty. When we began giving to others, we didn’t have less for ourselves; we discovered we had more. So, yeah, our life is different than I planned—It’s better.
Parenting in a changing world changes us. My family has witnessed this firsthand. We are learning what matters and what doesn’t. We teach our kids that giving doesn’t make us poor, but it does cost us. Mother Teresa once said, “You must give what will cost you something. This is giving not just what you can live without, but what you can’t live without, or don’t want to live without. . . . Then your gift becomes a sacrifice, which will have value before God. This giving until it hurts—this sacrifice—is what I call love in action.”
This kind of love-driven giving has a high cost, but we keep paying it because the value we receive is higher.
God’s divine will is for us to be generous and for us to raise givers. But sometimes the space between his sovereign plan for our lives on the one hand and the redemption of our problems, our pain, and the wayward path we choose on the other hand is difficult to comprehend. It’s much easier to trace the redemptive thread he weaves through the seasons of our lives once we’ve lived them. In the uncertain times living with joy is often discovered not in our gains but in what we give away. We find we are helped when we stop to help others. There is a deep, abiding, secret joy in sharing the kingdom of heaven.
Character building through the filter of giving teaches our kids the beauty of sacrifice, the value of hard work, the peace in pursing God’s glory, and the joy of putting others first.
This is our purpose.
This is what keeps us living and giving in a changing world.
Kristen Welch, blogger at We are THAT family, is the bestselling author of Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World and the new book, Raising World Changers In A Changing World, releasing May. 1, 2018