I learned that not only do chores teach skills that my children will need for life, but they foster a sense of servant hood, of team, of responsibility, and of selflessness. We have battled back and forth over the last few years. Training children already set in the habit of being served proved a daunting task. I was also faced with my own selfishness, laziness, and inconsistency. God is still refining these characteristics in me.
So, as time has marched on, so have our chores. Each child has been given certain responsibilities within our home, to help our family run smoothly and enable us to be more hospitable toward our neighbors. Finally in this last year (or even 6 months!), the kids have finally
I was so proud of my oldest, Allison (11 years), a couple of nights ago. It was my turn to do the dishes. Two of my boys were fighting, the baby was crying and tugging on my leg, I was trying to bark out orders, and it was past bedtime. Allison came up to me and started doing the dishes. (She HATES this job!) I told her that she didn't need to do that, that I would get it done. She responded by saying that she knew I had enough to do at that moment, and she was finished with her chores, so could help. OH HOW THAT BLESSED ME!!!!
Because all of this didn't start until three years ago, my number 4 child was 2 at the time. We were just beginning still when he was little. The heart of family had not been bought into yet. So, he was in training like all the rest of us. Now, we have a baby. Noah is 21 months old and is absolutely precious inside and out! He LOVES to help! When ever he spills a cup, which is quite often, he runs for a towel and dries up the mess without ever being told to! When I say, "Chore time!" he goes and gets a wash cloth and starts wiping things on his own initiative! He will wipe walls, windows, the floor, his high chair, just where ever his little heart leads him. OH HOW THAT BLESSES ME!!!
I am absolutely loving this season of our lives. It has been VERY hard work, mainly fighting my own sinfulness, to get us trained. God is so faithful though! He has done such a work in each of our hearts, blessing us with a heart to serve, a willingness to go above and beyond, and a deep love for Him and each other. I am so humbled when I see a child working with a happy heart! That the Lord would bless us so abundantly brings me to tears.
Don't get me wrong. It is not perfect here by ANY means! We are still sinners, who struggle with our selfish and lazy tendencies, but we are learning! Praise God!
(This post is now linked!)