• lindsayvanstaden

Those Greater Things: Training kids up in the greatest commandments

It’s a new beginning! I love a new school year with all its possibilities and fresh starts! There are always things I wish I would have done differently or that got pushed to the back burner the year before. This blog has been one of those back-burner things for awhile now. After the craziness of starting a business and moving houses, I needed some time to just be “mom”--not multitasking mom or kinda-sidetracked mom, but fully-present mom. I know a lot of you know the feeling! This summer was a wonderful time of rejuvenation, and I’m ready to start moving forward. I have so many things I’m excited to share with you—from my favorite must-reads to daily ideas for teaching kids compassion. My aim is to pass on ideas and walk with you as we both seek to help our families “be the hands” of Jesus daily. I will be writing once or twice a month, and I look forward to hearing back from you as well!



I want to take a minute and reintroduce myself and the vision behind Be the Hands Curriculum Units. I am a mom of three very active boys. I could probably stop there and you could pretty much figure out what my days look like right now. (If you imagined boys running, jumping, scream-singing, drumming, and one recently getting a cast, then you’ve got us pegged.) It’s quite a ride watching my boys grow and discover who they are. Some days have those magical moments when one of my boys puts his arm around his brother’s shoulders and says, “I love you, bro,” and little heart emojis practically float around them. Other less magical days include one of those “bros” discovering scissors and cutting tiny holes in multiple pieces of clothing. Also memorable...but not quite the kind of moment I’m hoping to conjure up when they are all grown and out of the house.

My guys on the first day of school

These moments, good and bad alike, are little windows into my kids’ development and character. I have lots of goals for them--don’t we all? But the most important things I want for them really come down to those “Greatest Commandments” in Matthew 22:37-40. 

Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

If my boys grow up and have those two things, I will be immensely satisfied. These commandments are so important to me that they are also the vision of Be the Hands. Our vision is simply:

  1. Help kids love God first and foremost--to really know and love the God of this universe who has called them by name.

  2. Help kids grow in their love and compassion for others and to live this out in real, practical ways.

God knew what He was doing. He designed us for two big things: to love Him and to love others. If we could all do these things, can you imagine how the world would be? That’s the world I want for my boys--the one where loving God and loving others is the norm. I want this to be their reality in the middle of this crazy world, and I want them to shine this light for others. So that's where this blog is headed--right into practical ways to help kids live out these greatest things.


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