Years ago, visiting a friend’s home, I stood in the bathroom doorway while she hastily cleaned the toilet for my visit. She apologetically explained that although she had three boys (all older than my kids), she struggled with the amount of time it took to teach them basic household chores, so she ended up doing them herself. That was a significant event for my parental development. I decided I didn’t want to be the one doing all of the household work—not necessarily for my own selfish gain (but, let’s face it: who wants to be the only one caring for the home?!?), but most importantly for the necessary gain of my children. I began to wonder what these boys’ wives would think one day when their husbands didn’t know how to help around the house because their mother didn’t take the time to teach them.
As time progressed, I learned from experience exactly why she didn’t take that time: it’s painstaking drudgery to teach kids to work hard. Everything within us (our fleshly selves) wants to sit this one out and let someone else take care of it. We want to get away with the least amount of work possible without missing any of the benefits.
But God doesn’t call us to a life of laziness. On the contrary, He calls us to diligent work. Judy Rogers has written a fabulous song entitled “Go to the Ant” (you can listen to it here) that’s based off of Proverbs 6:6-11. I love the entire CD, but this song in particular is one I’ll still sing to my kids as I’m encouraging them to do the work God has called them to. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “…it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” God has generously given us homes to tend to; it is our responsibility to care for them and to teach our kids to do the same.