Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Teaching Children to Work
Part 1

Proverbs 6
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest-
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.

Good character is being able to understand the difference between right and wrong and then having the courage and ability to do the right thing. Being intelligent and well educated in academics is not the only tool to make a person successful. Intelligence without character is dangerous. History is full of very intelligent people that had poor character. They brought great destruction to themselves and nations. Two on the top of our modern day list would be Hitler and Margaret Sanger (the raciest/feminist/abortionist), among many others.

God called His creation work:

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.Genesis 2;2
Part of Gods plan was for man to work:

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.Genesis 2:5
The first children were given work to do:

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.Genesis 4:2

Jesus called His life here work:

Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."John 5:17
The biggest part of our day and our life, will be working:

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."Genesis 3:13

Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.Psalm 104:23
Work is Not a Dirty Four Letter Word

Teaching children to work and work hard is one the most valuable things you can teach them. It builds strong character and appreciation if done with a spirit of purpose and reward, not of dread or something to run from. Teach them from a young age that work is a responsibility and that it pleases their Lord. If they are old enough to pull the toys out, they are old enough to put toys away, at the same time do not expect perfection. Approach work with smiles, re-enforcing the fact that responsibility is not something to avoid.

Do not overwhelm children with too much work, too soon. A begining, 90 pound weight lifter does not strart out with 200 pounds on each hand. You do not want to have too much work and too little play or pay. This will cause children to become bitter, not only about working, but about you. That does not mean all jobs are fun or rewarding, but at a young age we need to work on attitude, just as much as performance.

Work is usually hard and trying. This is because of the fall of man, sin. Children need to understand this. There is no free ride, no easy ride.


Refer to Scripture for Purpose
God told Adam that he would have to work and provide for his family by the sweat of his brow.

Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

The Proverbs 31 Woman is constantly working with her hands to care for home and family. It is her work that praises her, because she has done her work well.

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.Proverbs 31:13

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.Proverbs 31:17

Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.Proverbs 31:31

Once children understand that work is just part of life and that it is a command from God, then they can start to understand the purpose. They can start to understand that God did not put us here just to eat, drink and be merry! He created us for a reason, to glorify him in everything we do. We work because God tells us to. We glorify Him by obeying with a willing spirit. Just as Jesus was willing to come to earth and do the hard work of redeeming our souls from hell. It is a testimony to others when we enjoy our work, when we persevere even when it is not pleasant.

In our life long lesson of dying to self and living for Christ, work can teach us diligence, humility, obedience, gratefulness, patience, attentiveness, orderliness, responsibility, initiative, creativity, thriftiness, availability, and self control.

Scripture Warns Against Laziness

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."2 Thessalonians 3:10

He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.Proverbs 12:11

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.Proverbs 14:23

One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroysProverbs 18:9

Children need to know that laziness will not be tolerated. This includes complaining and procrastination. This also means a job half way done is NOT done. Remember the age and ability of your child. Do not expect perfection, but do expect an honest attempt.

A willing heart and ‘mostly’ clean bathroom is much more important
than a bitter heart with a spotless bathroom.

It will take years to reach our training goals with our children. Parents do not need to become frustrated and lazy in their training. It takes A LOT of patience and diligence to teach children to work. Remember just how longsuffering God is with us!

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