Somewhere along the way I began calling my oldest daughter a "handmaiden of the Lord". I have no idea why, but I think it began when I started training her to serve, help around the house and keep her heart in check before God. There are a lot of things Chap and I do incorrectly as parents, but one thing that we have naturally accomplished, due to God's grace, is train our girls to tend to the needs of others. I always had the concept of teaching them to wait on and serve their Dad because one day they will serve their husbands. I don't think that I naturally waited on and served my husband in the beginning. It was something I had to learn. I don't do it grudgingly but out of love and honor. It is a honor to serve Chap, and by serving him, I'm doing it as unto God. I want to teach my girls to do the same. Little did I know that others have observed this. Here's the impact it has had...
The other evening we had a friend over who grew up in a split home and did not have a close relationship with her father. She actually is struggling in her current home life. After dinner, Chap gave Ruth one simple look. Ruth caught it right away. I didn't even notice. (She can read her Dad like a book.) She immediately got up and cleared our guests' plates and the table. This is a routine thing, so I didn't give it much mind at all. A week later when I called my friend to see how her marriage and family were, she shared what that one glance and act of obedience without words did for her. When she observed it she was touched by a Father's love for his daughter and a child's love for her Father. God spoke to her and said, "This is how you were supposed to be loved by your Dad. Even though you didn't receive it, this is how I love you and have always loved you." She explained that by that one revelation, she was set free in an area that has positively impacted her marriage. Praise God! I love how that one act glorified my God and set someone free!!
The above picture of Grace is HUGE in our family. Little do you realize, but that one picture represents a rite of passage for her. For years, Chap has come home in the afternoon and sat in his comfy chair. We always hear him say, "Ruth, how about a cup?" She makes his coffee, knows exactly how he likes it, and serves it to him. Grace is now big enough to make her Dad a cup of coffee too! (Maybe too small to carry it though.) I tell them this is a HONOR and they believe it!
Service to others is bigger than HUGE! Whether it is to dad, mom, siblings, friends, strangers. It's what Christ modeled to us when He washed his disciples feet. He did it out of love, honor and respect for his friends. Now, if I can just get my girls to serve their brothers like this!!!