Aaah… the challenge of our lives: bringing up children.
There are many wise sayings along these lines in Scripture, but the one that stands out the most for me right now is this one from Proverbs 10: 5:
A child who gathers in summer is prudent,
but a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame.
Now… I can’t say our kids bring shame exactly, but getting them to exercise discipline is a trying task! We have a rule in our home that each kid’s room must be cleaned before they can ‘earn’ money doing chores. The other day our son asked if he could earn some money to buy a toy (having just seen a commercial for a toy wrestling ring featuring Rey Mysterio).
I started thinking about what ‘job’ he could do for money, (sweep the floor, dust, pull weeds, etc.) all of which are pretty big tasks around our house… unfortunately! He was prepared for the hard work, ready to make that money, when I casually asked him, “is your room clean?” Immediately, all of his momentum stopped. He said, “yes”, but it was the kind of yes that really meant “no”.
I reminded him of the rule… and suggested that he clean his room and then come back and get his ‘job’ for pay. And, what do you think he did? He said, “nah, I don’t really want money anyway…” and sat down to watch some cartoons.
How often do we do the very same thing? We are motivated by something we want to do or acheive only to realize that we have to go through a lot of other hard work just to get to the hard work we have to do to acheive. It’s enough to make any of us sit down on the couch and say, ‘forget it… I didn’t really want it anyway’.
It is just that reaction that we have to fight against… and teach our kids to fight against. The age old word is: discipline. Without it we can never get to where we want to go. It’s easy to say ‘forget it’, but that doesn’t get us any closer to realizing our dreams.
Let’s not ‘forget it’.