“The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring his hand to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.”(Proverbs 26:15&16, ESV)
I handed my three little ones a scrub rag from the red bucket and watched them kneeling on the floor, having fun with a menial task. It didn't matter that the floor would get less clean, or that there would be wet knees making spots on the furniture.
My own mother had given us cleaning rags at an early age, and I remember her frustration as we stood there, swinging them aimlessly through the Saturday morning air. Today I'm grateful that she taught us to clean, and I'm fascinated as I realize my own little sisters inspire me to be a better homemaker.
This didn't just happen. Our mom made us work. There was no consideration of lounging with a screen all day, eating what we wanted, when we wanted. There was no hovering over iPhones all night while we ignored dinner dishes and each other. Our parents raised us on purpose, by making us do things on purpose.
I remember spending hours in the kitchen as a teen, cooking for our family of twelve. Sometimes, six pies graced the counter tops when I was done. It wasn't always fun, but it got done.
I've seen kids ruined by lack of chores. There is no upbringing on the screen, and no discipline learned by lounging around twelve hours a day. Start very young, and you will have kids who expect to work rather than resent work.
Each weekend, our kids expect to clean house and cut grass. They may be found planning out the chores just as they are found planning their play dates! Together, we can do in a few hours what would take me all day to accomplish.
This week, the twelve year old was lazy during chores. When a friend popped in unexpectedly, he asked to run to the river, but had to stay and work, first. It's hard to place boundaries, but so important. And it's up to mothers to be strong enough to do so.
Mothers, don't be afraid of making your child work! If they get lazy, refuse to take them anywhere until their chores are done. Stall that outing if the bed isn't made.
Be faithful, and you will be blessed by their faithfulness!