When we think about responsibility and our roles as parents, there comes with it the reality of duty. Duty is not a dirty word. Duty is recognizing we have an obligation we are expected to uphold, whether we feel like it or not. God has given us our children to care for, teach, nurture, discipline, and disciple our children.
This is not something to be taken lightly and it’s not an easy role. It’s impossible, even if we try to control all our situations, eventually hardship will find us. Or we are majorly neglecting areas that need more attention in our life for the sake of ease.
Recognizing parenting alone is meant to be hard work will help teach our children the value of hard work. Rather than spend our lives trying to skate around work, we need to learn to embrace it and teach our children the same.
A Simple Life
My husband and I have taken multiple trips with our children to a local historical village that allows you to go in and out of the old houses and shops from the mid-1600s to early 1900s. Some of the exhibits are actually live which means they have people dressed up in clothing from that time and literally cooking meals they would have cooked in the way they would have cooked them.
We always leave the village longing for a simpler life. People back then, they literally worked in order to eat and survive. The women spent all day cooking a meal to feed their family because that’s how long it took! The work was rewarding and family time was valued. Today, rather than working to survive, we work to entertain. True, there are still bills to pay and mouths to feed. But the number of luxuries we work for come at a cost.
The Value of Work
Our nature is to want everything to be as easy as possible, to take the load, off so we can chase our own desires. And I promise you, I am just as guilty of this as anyone. Why do I want to work in the kitchen all day preparing meals when I can get it from a box and it takes 20 minutes?
This has proven to be completely unfulfilling in my own life. Why? Because God didn’t create us for a life of ease, and when we take shortcuts we lose something of value in our role.
I understand we live in a fast-paced culture and society. It’s almost inescapable. There are pressures in all directions beckoning us to do one more thing. The busy life is hurried indeed. But the decision to follow that flow is entirely up to us. We do not need to engage in everything society does (or in everything we or our children want) in order to become successful people.
We don’t need to reject all modern conveniences either, but I believe there is something of value to learn from the days of old. I believe we lose something when we always take shortcuts. And I don’t think all the tools and gadgets are all necessarily for our good. Not sin, just not necessarily profitable. (1 Corinthians 10:23)
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4
I’m not saying we can never do things out of convenience, but less is more.
Benefits of Hard Work
So what are the benefits of helping our children understand the value of work?
- Personal Satisfaction. When we teach our children to invest their time and energy into something that requires hard work, it offers them a personal satisfaction they can only gain from experiencing work first hand.
- Self-Denial. Teaching hard work also helps teach our children to think outside themselves and their own personal comfort all the time. Life is not about constantly playing and living a comfortable, leisurely life. In fact, the rewards of rest and recreation are far greater when work is included in a child’s day to day life.
- Work Ethic. When we start our children young, we instill in them a strong work ethic. When we teach our children to work hard and do their work well, it will carry over as they become adults and get a job. Unfortunately, excellent work ethic is something that is sorely lacking today. Teach your child how to stand out!
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
Poverty is financial, but it’s also much more than that. A body that doesn’t work and exercise itself becomes unhealthy, unfit, and naturally bent toward laziness.
…a child left to himself shames his mother.
For His Glory,