As a parent, I have the God-given responsibility to teach my children about the way things are done in this world. As a believer and follower of Christ, that responsibility grows to include love and understanding of who He is. Having raised my kids in the suburbs, and having them enrolled in public school, this job gets a little more complicated by the level of privilege and entitlement that goes along with these "cultural norms". Recently, I watched as my children struggled with the concept of work. Their misunderstanding leads them to whine and complain about everything from homework to cleaning up after themselves.
Before moving on I want clarify for the purposes of this post, I'm defining "work" as:
"exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil."
(Thanks dictionary.com) This week I'm going to help them see work as God sees it. Here is what I'm planning on sharing:
1. Work, always part of God's plan. In Genesis 2:15 the Bible is clear that one of the reasons God created man was to work. It wasn't until after the fall (Genesis 3:17-18) that work became hard. Because of sin our work; whether school work, or house work, or work work has become boring, tedious, and basically not fun.
So, what now? Stop working? Not really a viable option ... as much as we may some days like it to be. We need to change the way we view work.
2. Work should be done to the best of our ability. Just because we don't like the work we need to do, doesn't mean we don't have to do it, or do it well. Colossians 3 makes it clear who we are working for, the Lord. We don't work for grades, privileges, or paychecks. Our work should and can bring glory and honor to God for blessing us with the opportunities we have.
Even with the proper attitude about work, it's still boring and there are a thousand things we would rather do. So ...
3. Work comes before play. ... get the work done first and then we can play. If we do the work first, there will be more enjoyment in the play. If we play first, there will be the fear that it will be cut short in order to work.
Work is not wrong or evil. It is necessary for us as we follow God. If we have the right attitude we will get through the boring and be able to more enjoy the fun that comes later.
I'm praying my kids understand.