Faith and Action Together
Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. (CEV) Romans 12:9
Some things just go together: bacon and eggs, thunder and lightning, macaroni and cheese, kids and dirt. It’s hard to imagine one without the other. James tells us two other things that go together like peanut butter and jelly: faith and action. While we don’t need to do good works in order to earn salvation (Jesus did the work for us by dying on the cross), a natural consequence of our belief in him and love for him is that our lives will be filled with good works: acts of love and service (James 2:14-26).
You may be thinking, “How do I teach my child about showing love through action?” We have plenty of opportunities each day to act on our faith. Here are some ideas to help you guide your children to show their faith with heart and hands:
- Start with a conversation. Ask your child to think of someone who might be blessed by his or her actions and how. Pray together that God will show you opportunities to actually do something for that person. It doesn’t have to be big. Small acts of love—greeting someone on the street, reading to a little sibling, or helping to clean up a mess—can bring big blessings to others.
- Look for examples. Point out examples of people who have put their faith into action. Think locally, nationally, and globally and in all ages, from young children to seniors. From this list of God’s servants, choose one person to pray for each week as a family. Reach out and ask them if there’s something your family can do for them and encourage them with a kind note and prayer.
- Highlight the importance of a servant heart and working for God’s glory. Think of your child’s gifts. Find something that matches the interests of your child, that suits his or her personality and strengths. If your child is an encourager, help him think of what he can do to encourage someone. If she is a diligent and hard worker, help her find opportunities to show love through hands-on tasks. If your child is outgoing, who in your community would benefit from their company?
- Start with one act. Think of one manageable act of service your child can complete and feel successful about. Help them plan out the steps involved. Pray for your child’s work and pray with your child.
- Check in often. Help your child see the ways that he or she has shown love to people each day. Ask your child “How did you show your faith today?” Share your own examples as well. This will help your child be more aware of opportunities around him or her.
As you guide your children to put their faith into action, surround them in prayer. “Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying” (Romans 12:12). As you focus on faith in action, God will reveal more opportunities for action each day.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Serving With Children