But wait a minute… “I’m not your servant!” Really? That just doesn’t sounds right in a Christian home!
This is a phrase I find myself often saying rather vehemently to my children. Of course, this is done in an effort to teach them to clean up after themselves, to do things for themselves. After all, that’s all part of growing up and becoming responsible. But I’ve decided there has got to be a much better and graceful way to say that! “I’m not your servant,” means “I don’t want to do anything for you.” “I’m not your servant,” echoes the concept that secular society promotes – everyone for yourself, serve yourself, why concern yourself with someone else’s needs, etc… This is also the idea where society teaches us that children are a burden and just cramp our style.
But aren’t we called to serve? Isn’t this what God commands? The most obvious example of this is in Matthew 20:25 – 28 where Jesus says, “You know that the rules of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. 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 … “. We are called to serve each other as Jesus served us. Does that not also mean that we need to serve our children? And, if we want our children to develop servant hearts, shouldn’t we model this by serving in our homes with humility and grace? Hey, you know that Proverbs 31 woman? That wife of noble character? All those descriptors of her can be summarized in one phrase: she serves her family.
And guess what Peter says in 1 Peter 4:9-10?! “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” And Scripture has many other examples of how we must serve each other (New Testament women Martha and Peter’s mother were excellent examples of women who served).
As wives and moms, it’s our duty to serve our families. It’s a key part of our role! Woman was created to be a helper to man!! So, instead of saying, “I’m not your servant!” and paint a picture of serving in a negative light for our children, how about we say, “I’m sorry sweetheart, I can’t do that for you. But let me do it with you and show you how to do it yourself!”