Train Up Your Child
June 21, 2021
You could imagine what our home might look like with six children, ages seven and under. As the proverb above states in regards to oxen—without any the crib is clean. It goes on to say, however, that much increase is had by the strength of the ox. So it is with children. Life certainly is not as clean with them, but when trained to pitch in—and especially clean up after themselves—there is great gain and increase.
These habits have been so engrained in our children that the smallest walking child often brings things that he finds out of place to me, or puts them away on his own if he knows where they go. It is a sweet blessing to my heart to watch my children pitch in for the good of the household. Though I do have to remind the children to clean up, it is often done quickly and thoroughly, without hesitation. I train them to work with excellence, as unto the Lord and not unto men (Colossians 3:23). Whether it is their dishes and napkin at the table, some toys they had been playing with, or the sink after brushing their teeth—each one is taught to pay attention to their surroundings and always clean up after themselves. This takes much effort and patience on my behalf, but pays off tremendously! I can expect the bathroom to be in perfect order after the bigger kids get done taking their baths!
What will this mean to their future roommate, spouse, or employer? This will set them apart from many others and surly find them favor. My car is another potential for disaster. Not so when everyone is responsible for their own seat! Now, does this all happen beautifully as soon as I instruct them of the requirements? Not in the least! I often must reiterate my standards, or even have a child spend extra time cleaning up the area that they left a mess. But each time that I do, I am further engraining in them the importance of keeping their space neat and orderly. It is important to note here that they are the ones inconvenienced, not me. If a child forgets or neglects to do a duty, it is on them to follow through with cleaning up—not me!
So many parents, especially ones who only have a few children, tend to serve their little ones. This will eventually wear you out. Many parents don't, in fact, become aware of it until after their children become teenagers. They suddenly become repulsed at how messy and almost expectant they have become of you to take care of them and their belongings. If you are in this situation right now, I would like to encourage you to go to your child in all meekness and explain to them that your expectations for them will be changing. Gently but firmly inform them that they are soon entering adulthood and that these behaviors, if left unchanged, can harm their future endeavors.
Proverbs teaches us “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.” (Proverbs 12:24, KJV). And, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23, KJV) Dear mother, do not neglect your duty to train your child up in all the Lords ways! Hard work pleases the Lord and serves us well in this lifetime.