Monday, October 24, 2016

Are We Born Lazy?

Author: Lorrie Young

Last week I had a great conversation with another mother friend who was simply picking my brain about how to get kids to do chores--diligently and consistently. I readily admit this is a struggle with our kids, and probably all kids if we are honest. In fact, I would say it's a struggle for us as adults too! It's not easy to keep the ball moving in the direction of being intentional in all areas of our life, and not drifting toward laziness. Right?

However--Ben and I believe it is a battle worth fighting for. We both grew up in families that modeled hard work, honored it, and taught it. And we are better for it. Sometimes it’s easy to say things like, "Well my son or daughter is such a hard worker by nature...but my other son/daughter is just sort of naturally lazy. We have such a hard time getting him/her to do this or that."

Now this may be 100% true. All children are made with different personalities and bents toward different areas. But is this acceptable? Here's a big secret that keeps me content as a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mother. Listen carefully---I DON'T DO EVERYTHING MYSELF. My kids and husband pull their fair share of the weight around here--we are a family--we encourage, and expect everyone--to be part of our team. Our kids are good kids, and almost always they are willing to help out without much prodding or complaining. Yet our goal--through deliberate training and prayer--is that they will begin to initiate more, and be more attentive to noticing the needs around them and then learn to dive in on their own. I  recently read this quote from a book called Teach your Team to Fish by Laurie Beth Jones:

"When values are internalized
 the need for rules diminishes."

Ben and I truly believe this to be true. The more we help kids understand what the Bible says about something, and then help them to value those things--the less need we will have for rules and charts. They will follow because they want to, and they will see the benefit in doing so. Will this happen overnight? No. Will this happen without intention? No. Will they need reminding? Yes. And re-reminding? Double yes.

As parents, we cannot give up or settle for laziness in our home or or in the hearts of our children. If we have a child that has a tendency toward laziness--we need to sit down and take time to teach, train, and pray for their hearts in this area. We can and should expect greater things from them.  I know sometimes it seems easier to just do something ourselves, rather than teach and train our kids to work hard. But eventually we will get burned out, bitter and annoyed. We aren't doing our family any favors by allowing them to think that someone will always be there to pick up the slack, tend to every need, cover over mistakes, and make sure they don't face the consequences of their laziness.

 Below are some practical tools to help us lead our kids in the right direction. Of course, keep in mind our example, by far, is the most powerful tool! We should take some time to evaluate our own heart, and how we measure up in this area. Then with prayer and God's strength make the necessary adjustments

 This story of The Grasshopper and the Ants drives home the lesson of the consequences of laziness and is a great visual for the kids. Watch the video of the Grasshopper and the Ants here.  See also the printable version of story here.

Something to go along with it find coloring pages and crafts here.

This music album by Sovereign Grace Ministries is awesome, and this song, Lazy Bones is very applicable to this lesson. Ben, myself, and the kids love the entire CD--and often find ourselves singing it around the house. By entire album here.
The bible also has much to say on the topic--and spending some time reading through these verses will be a good reminder for us all.

Top Ten Bible Verses to Combat Laziness:
1. You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
All summer it stores up food;
at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
poverty your permanent house guest! ~Proverbs 6:6-11 (The Message)

2. Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. ~Proverbs 12:24 (NLT)

3. A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things. ~Proverbs 18:9 (NLT)

4. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. ~Proverbs 31:27 (NLT)

5. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. ~Romans 12:11 (NLT)

6. A shiftless man lives in a tumbledown shack; A lazy woman ends up with a leaky roof. ~Ecclesiastes 10:18 (The Message)

7. Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work. ~Proverbs 21:25 (NLT)

8. A lazy life is an empty life, but “early to rise” gets the job done. ~Proverbs 12:27 (The Message)

9. Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest. ~Proverbs 20:4 (NLT)

10. Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. ~Proverbs 13:4 (NLT)

How bout ya'll? Do you think we are born lazy? What are some ways you intentionally teach your children about the value of hard work?

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