R.a.k. ’em with Kindness

Becoming a gold-mining mom has encouraged me to look for ways for us to live out God’s truths in our family’s life – not just tell my kids about them. It’s not always easy, and believe me, I often fail. But finding creative ways to keep God’s Words in front of us and put them into action with my kids has helped. That old saying, “It’s better caught than taught” is so true. So, we’ve adopted the approach as a family that “we” are learning together how to live and love like Jesus – not just trying to teach “them.” They seem to respond so much better when we make it a team approach.

As a continuation of yesterday’s post, I wanted to share with you a few more practical ways we’ve focused on living and giving the treasure of “kindness.” Here are some more “treasures of truth” that tell us how to show kindness through our words and in our actions:

  • “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
  • “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25
  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

 

A few years ago, we were on vacation, and we’d taken our Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child chart with us so we could do family devotions. We decided to focus on “kindness” that week. M husband came up with ways we could do Random Acts of Kindness, and developed a contest to see who could do the most. That afternoon we were headed to the grocery store and I heard him say, “Come on boys, let’s go R.A.K. ’em.” Here are few ways we have learned to “R.A.K ‘em” with kindness in our house:

1. Make a list of different ways to rack up R.A.K.‘em points. Here are some ideas:

Offer to take someone’s grocery cart to the “cart corral” in the parking lot.

 

Open the door for someone you don’t know.

 

Cook brownies for a new neighbor.

 

Pay for the order of the car behind you next time you are in the drive-thru.

 

Mow grass or shovel snow for a neighbor

 

Wash your spouses car.

 

Send a note of encouragement to a pastor at your church.

 

Take flowers to a nursing home.

Hug your mom or dad when they least expect it.

 

Make your brother or sister’s bed.

 

2. Pick a day this week to do Random Acts of Kindness. Saturday is a great day to start!

3. Have everyone look for ways to R.A.K. someone at the grocery store, in the neighborhood, at work and even at home.

4. Keep a tally of how many times each person RAKs someone and see who has the highest score the end of the day.

5. The person with the highest RAK’em score gets to choose something special, ie. pick a family night activity or order their favorite dessert.

I don’t think we can ever be more like Jesus than when we are kind! And I don’t ever think we can emphasize it too much in our homes, our churches, our schools and communities. What are some other ways your family shows kindness?

Coming up….since we all learned so much from Marybeth’s post here on Tuesday, I’ve asked her to share more financial truths we can teach to our kids in tomorrow’s post. See you then!

Copyright 2009. Renee Swope – All rights reserved.

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Today’s Mom Give-Aways

Today we are giving away two D6 mom resources – a copy of Finding Home by Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, and a D6 gift pak that includes a D6 Mom Tshirt and a year’s worth ofFamily Devotional Magazines from D6. Please include your email so we can reach you if you win.

We’re giving away gifts each weekday, so be sure to come back for more mom encouragement and resources from D6 and Proverbs 31 Ministries!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. A book of your devotional would be amazing! My kids are going to love the RAK contest. It is so very important to be an example to our children. Love the caught not taught quote!!
    Christine
    tandvmom@gmail.com

  2. Oooh I can’t wait to head out a R.A.K. some people this weekend. I love that you said that we are learning not teaching our kids. So true that we need to be planting these lessons in our hearts as well.
    sarahlscott@gmail.com

  3. Thank you for your words – as a new mom I’m wondering how to instill God’s truths to my children in a natural way – not “do this”,etc. Your tips are great and I’m really enjoying the D6 site.
    lilgirlsmommy@gmail.com

  4. I love it. I read your devotional to my kids last night and they loved it. Who ever suggested you put your family devotionals in a book was right on. Count me in on buying one.

  5. Love your devotionals! As a mom of three, you have given me nuggets of inspiration. I will be trying the RAK suggestions. Great idea! Keep up the good work.
    fourharrisfamily@gmail.com

  6. tiggerdaisy says:

    I’m all about random acts of kindness, including random acts of writing! I bought a card the other day to send to my pastor…but I haven’t sent it yet. Your post has encouraged me to get on it!

    Thanks!

    Rebecca
    tiggerdaisy@gmail.com

  7. Another great suggestion to motivate the kids to do something positive.

    Kristy
    kasiddel@bellsouth.net

  8. Two of the three verses you mentioned are ones that I have started teaching my 2 year old son. I don’t think it is ever too early to start memorizing scripture!!! He can already say both verses but not the book of the Bible they are in. I love to watch him learn!
    Jessica
    mariposa5280@yahoo.com

  9. R a k ’em with kindness. This may just we what we need to get my 5 year old daughter to learn how to treat friends better at pre school. She has major issues with hitting and kicking others.

    I have often thought of starting a random act of kindness by paying for person behind me at drive thru but have never had guts to do it…

    Your devotional has inspired me to do it and I will be sure girls (ages 8 and 5) are in the car when I do it

    Blessings

    Kim
    chinarnrmom@comcast.net

  10. All of your suggestions are just wonderful. I sure wish I was clever enough to come up with these things. Since I’m not, thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Love it!

    cswartz12@msn.com

  11. Thanks so much for your encouragement…my husband and I are doing a FireProof BS series. This morning we discussed what we treasure about each other. He told me he enjoys that I keep our family together…through devotions, games, vacation times ect…It is true that I do that, but I so long for him to do that. But maybe this is God’s role for my life?!! It is so good to hear encouragement from my spouse…but also your ideas on what things we can do to help others.

    Shannon
    smarklow@gmail.com

  12. RefreshMom says:

    Great ideas. I was just looking at an old blog entry where Deut. 6 was on my heart that I might model Christ to my little ones. Older DS was born with a kind spirit–we even featured that trait on the “I’m really very good at” section of his ‘Star Attraction’ poster for school. It’s going to take a lot of modeling for the little one though. At 3 he’s a little too young to get the RAK idea, but I’ll definitely start to communicate the concept.

  13. Chef Diane says:

    I love RAK and more than teaching my kids about it, I love watching them do it on their own.
    Here are a few that my boys do:
    * Do each others chores on their birthday so that the birthday guy feels a bit more special.
    * When one is overloaded with homework, offer to either do the dishes or help with them.
    * Surprising each other by going out and taking care of the dog in the cold morning, so the other can sleep in.
    * Allowing the other to play xbox on single player.
    * Letting someone else have the last slice of pizza.
    * Making coffee for mom and dad.

    At Christmas we always have a set amount of money that is laid on our heart. When we get behind a person in line and the amount is close to what we have, we tell them that we will pay for it. It is a little way of giving what God has given to us. But it encourages us to speak of the Lord and it also encourages them to pass it on.

    My favorite it to pick up the tab for the drive through car behind us. Or pay the toll of the car behind you. It blows peoples minds.

    When I go to the beach I love to stand on the balcony with 10 one dollar bills. I wait for a group of young children to come out and let them drift out of the sky. With each bill is a note that says do something special with me. It is amazing to watch their expressions from a distance.

    Diane

  14. Oh, how I wish I had this insight while my kids were still young. They are 10 and 16 now. They constantly fight and argue with each other. I pray it’s not to late to instill this in them.

  15. A book of your devotional would be amazing! My kids are going to love the RAK contest. It is so very important to be an example to our children. Love the caught not taught quote!!
    Christine
    tandvmom@gmail.com

  16. taylorml@embarqmail.com says:

    My kids love the idea of RAK. On Christmas morning they got up and baked cookies to take to those that had to work that day, firemen, police and mursing home workers. But really you could do it any day.

  17. Oooh I can’t wait to head out a R.A.K. some people this weekend. I love that you said that we are learning not teaching our kids. So true that we need to be planting these lessons in our hearts as well.
    sarahlscott@gmail.com

  18. The Dentons says:

    I just ran across this site the other day and I think it is amazing! I have a 14 month old and I’m feeling the pressure of being the perfect mom…I know this is an unattainable goal, but I’m still going to strive to be the best Godly Mommy I can. Thanks again for the encouragement!

    brandimdenton@gmail.com

  19. I’m so thankful to have stumbled across this site! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge and resources. Harmony@theinchurch.org

  20. Our family could really grow strong if we practiced RAK’s. I’ll be thinking about what I can do for my husband and be a better role model for my children.

    MMERoth@aol.com

  21. Kristy Baca says:

    Great way to send acts of kindess to others. We try to practice these alot! My husband and I learned a lot of these in our Growing Kids God’s Way classes!! But like many other things you can always seem to lose them over time. Thanks for the reminder.

    Kristy Baca
    bacakris@yahoo.com

  22. Mocha with Linda says:

    Great suggestions! R.A.K. ’em!

  23. Hi Renee!

    I just wanted to tell you my GNO post is up, finally. I have no electricity and I’m in Panera with wireless interet service that keeps cutting out. all that to say, I’ll be back to visit your blog when my lights are back on!

    Love you!
    Sandy

  24. I love this idea! Thanks!

    Cathy
    LLLCathy@gmail.com
    Mtn. Grove, MO

  25. momagain67 says:

    What a great idea … a RAK’em contest! Could make trips to Kroger a whole lot more fun!!

    pitkin5@comcast.net

  26. Renee, we’ve been doing this for years but we call it R.I.S.K. = Random Incidents of Sincere Kindness. We found this name worked well for a couple of reasons. Sometimes it truly is a ‘risk’ to randomly do something for others. You often have to step way outside your comfort zone and you don’t know how you will be received. Also, we wanted our actions to be sincere – not just trying to do more than the next person, but really have the heart behind the action.

    I love all your suggestions! I’m sure there’s a never ending list of things we can do for others to demonstrate Christ to them. Thanks for this reminder.

    Love, prayers and hugs,
    Joy

  27. I love RAKs I do them all the time. I true to lead my daughters by example.

    Kim / Ohio
    kimdillon@vernay.com

  28. What a great idea to make a contest out of RAKs! Thanks for sharing!

    loves2stamp@gmail.com

  29. Great ideas!! Thanks!
    twolittlespies@verizon.net

  30. Mary Lynn says:

    I will be introducing the Random Acts of Kindness to my kids this weekend. I think it will be fun as well as imprinting a valuable quality/fruit in them.
    Thanks for your encouragment!
    ml4estsmom@yahoo.com

  31. gunningfam05 says:

    My kids at 5, 4 and 2 are still learning to do this at home with each other.
    I would love more ways to teach this in a way that will stay with them no matter where they are.
    And we want to be the example when we are around other people.

    THankyou for sharing these with us.

    Chrissy
    cgunning9450@adelphia.net

  32. Sandy at God Speaks Today says:

    Hi Renee!

    I just wanted to tell you my GNO post is up, finally. I have no electricity and I’m in Panera with wireless interet service that keeps cutting out. all that to say, I’ll be back to visit your blog when my lights are back on!

    Love you!
    Sandy

  33. This whole thing is great, but the best part was when you said that we could learn together. Too true! That’s exactly what we’re trying to do now, but your posts this week have been exactly what I need – and I’m sure that my children can learn from it, too. Please keep posting lessons like this!

    lehrerin@charter.net

  34. Cynthia Robin says:

    What a blessing your blog is! I’m so glad I’ve found you here–I’m looking forward to all of the wonderful nuggets you have to share!

    Be blessed this evening!
    Cynthia Robin
    dehart51@comcast.net

  35. Renee,

    Thank you so much for sharing so many good ideas to build God-like character traits in ourselves and our children. You’ve given me a new direction to take with my children’s discipline. Thank you!

    JD at jdav7@aolcom

  36. Thanks again for such practical and concrete ways to teach children God’s truths. I have been blessed each day in January by reading your encouragement for moms and I’m a little sad that it’s almost Febuary! I’m sure you’ll have something great in store for us next month too 🙂
    Thanks again!

    nikki.shoemaker@gmail.com

  37. Thanks again for such practical and concrete ways to teach children God’s truths. I have been blessed each day in January by reading your encouragement for moms and I’m a little sad that it’s almost Febuary! I’m sure you’ll have something great in store for us next month too 🙂
    Thanks again!

    nikki.shoemaker@gmail.com

  38. Lindsey @ A New Life says:

    I love the comment about learning together how to live and love like Jesus.

    When we were first trying to figure out how to pray with our kids, we would tell them what to say and they would repeat, but didn’t seem to be getting the meaning. Now we all pray together at night, and we each go through praising God, giving thanks, asking forgiveness, and praying for others. The kids especially like my husband and I asking for forgiveness, because they can see that we are not perfect and are working towards being more Christ-like as well!

    Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. Your encouragement means a lot to me, especially as I am still not sure where this writing thing is going!!

    Have a blessed day,
    Lindsey

  39. Gods Student 4 Life says:

    I love Random Acts of Kindness! Very effective methods, even more so with a youth group that my husband and I volunteer for.

    Thanks!
    Melissa
    mggb75@gmail.com

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