My Focus on the Family magazine arrived today and since I was ahead on my “to do list” – I had time to sit with a cup of coffee and read a great article (“Your chores or mine?” by Heather Trent Beers). It interested me because it was on the same topic my hubby and I were talking about last night and today again about our kids and getting them to help us even more around the house.
My kids are fairly young, so I have many years of training ahead, but I do know that I don’t want to get to the place where they sit and do nothing, barely participating in the life of this family and that includes in the wonderful world of chores. We don’t believe in paying our kids for participating either, they don’t receive a weekly allowance. Dave and I firmly believe in cultivating “sonship” in our house (and in the church); raising children who understand the balance between ownership and accountability. This is their home too. I want to raise participants and not spectators who will become producers and not just consumers — even when it is inconvenient for them and for me.
Inevitably we aren’t just raising children so that they move out of the house but we’re responsible for preparing them for their future, for their spouses, and for their ministry (Kingdom purpose). The Bible calls them our arrows, which are representative of a battlefield, necessary for defence and for attack. We could all stand to learn some useful lessons from Psalm 127. Well-trained children are the best proof of the reality of our faith to an unbelieving world. However… arrows can also hurt the user if they are not careful, poorly trained children are a source of great sorrow to their parents (Pro. 17:25 & 29:17) and to society.
In Hebrew the word for children is derived from the verb “banah” which means “to build”. The Jews realized that they needed to train their children, one step at a time – as they would build a house (Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go…”). The only difference is, unlike a house which eventually disintegrates, their well-trained children can go on building from one generation to another.
This is what I want! A generation that continues to build, which to me means – to go up – to grow – to improve – to get better – to always move forward! I don’t want my grandchildren or great-grandchildren to inherit nothing because I failed “to build” my children the way God wanted me to while I had the chance.
Whoever said parenting was easy or convenient… was probably stoned!