What kind of people do I long for my children to become? That's a question I often ponder in my quiet moments. My deepest desire is that God's love will shape them into people of compassion in our self-absorbed culture. I long for them to be individuals who offer a cup of cold water to the thirsty (Matthew 25:35); I dream they'll be able to set aside the pull of materialism to spend their resources on worthwhile purposes. But many times, my efforts to mold my children into compassionate kids get thwarted by time pressures. Doctor appointments, soccer games, and homework obligations often overwhelm me! That's why I've learned that in order to bring substance to my dream, I need to be intentional. "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him."
Teaching our kids compassion doesn't mean sacrificing to the point of bleakness. It's about doing things families normally do (such as having birthday parties), but doing them in such a way that they involve loving others. Adapted from TCW article "Growing Kids Who Care" by Jan Johnson.