Thursday, February 23, 2012

Responsibility, Honesty and Obedience

These three words have been repeated countless times in our home throughout the lives of our children, but with special emphasis the last several weeks.  The inspiration is the undying issue of chores, the bane of us all.  But the opportunities for lessons, growth and discussion have been a good thing.

The kids have actually been grounded the last week and just earned their computer, park and TV privileges back.  I told them it was probationary, and even so their first free day they totally skipped the chores and spend hours unchecked on the computer.  So, they are grounded again.  So sad!

I work really hard to emphasize that the chores themselves don’t matter.  When they grow up, they don’t have to make their beds if they don’t want to.  And if they decide to mop their floors every day for the rest of their lives, it won’t get them into heaven or make one bit of difference to their intrinsic value.  The reason the chores are important have to do with those character traits that really do matter: responsibility, honesty and obedience.  These things will make a tremendous difference in their adult and spiritual lives.

(While lamenting this ongoing battle to my older sister one day, she made a terrific suggestion.  I want to share it with you in case you happen to have this same struggle in your household.  The plan includes the added lesson—or reinforcement of the lesson—that our yes is to mean yes and our no is to mean no [see the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew].  You can also teach about the legalities of a signature and how our names represent our reputation and identity.  The idea my sister shared was to have my children sign their chore charts and initial each individual chore as they are completed.  This means a lot more than a simple check mark.  So far, it is building honesty, if not obedience.)

They were both very disappointed in themselves over the misstep, which allowed us to revisit the difference between condemnation and conviction.  It is odd to think that the voice of the Holy Spirit would ever say the same thing as that of Satan’s, but he is a sneaky one, so it isn’t unusual for him to ride the coattails of a Truth to drag us down.  So, while the Holy Spirit may convict us of doing wrong, it is Satan who tell you to just sit down and give up, since you are complete and worthless trash. 

So, the kids rallied and took measures to help themselves to not fall down in the future.  My son attached a note to his door that just tickled my funny bone.  Last month the Scripture he was assigned to memorize was shorter than he liked.  He was frankly insulted.  He actually asked for something longer, which led to a discussion on the concept of the talents—be faithful in little and you will be trusted with more!  Anyhow, his verse was Ecclesiastes 9:10a: Whatever you do, do well.

So the note he attached to his door says this:

Ecclesiastes 9:10a is the lamest memory verse EVER…But it makes a good point! 

idn’t he cute?

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