Thursday, August 30, 2007

To the Work!

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us (2 Thess. 3:6).

Christians are not to be an idle folk. If someone claims to be a Christian, and they do not seek gainful employment, then we are told in the strictest of terms to have nothing to do with this person. Paul says this is not the "tradition" which they received. The tradition they received was this, "We were not ilde when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate" (2 Thess. 3:7-9).

Hopefully, you are not serving in a church with a great number of household heads who are unwilling to work to pay the bills and feed the family. If you are, then these people need a stern rebuke. I am more concerned with what we are teaching our young. My observations of the young adult population leaves much to be desired in this area.

Children of Christians ought to learn to work like Christians. A child ought to learn to do chores around the house as soon as they are able to do so. It teaches two things: Responsibility and Authority.

They learn responsibility by understanding that it is not mom's job to keep their room clean. And they learn that house-keeping is a family effort. Learning to take active stewardship over things is an essential part of a mature Christianity.

Authority is as important a lesson as learning responsibility. I seriously doubt that any child but Jesus cleaned his room without great threats and punishments. Teaching a child to work will positively teach them about the joy of a job well done, and negatively about a job ignored. Depending on the age, two things will result from neglect of duty: a red fanny or a loss of privilege. The end result should be the same: a clean room, like it or not.

I write this because one of the constant complaints from local companies is the inability to get young people who are willing to work. I believe this complaint is a serious reflection on our society as a whole, and it is a complaint that should never be leveled against Christians. We are, by nature, slothful creatures. One of the duties of the parent is train this tendency out. It is no easy task, but it must be done if we do not want to raise a generation of flakes.

A couple a generations before us, children had plenty of chores and responsibility. This was out of necessity as much as Biblical injunction. Presently, such labor is hardly necessary for survival. Indeed, the chores that we give our children may be trivial by comparison. And yet, it seems that parents have more problems getting children to comply with the trivial than our forefathers did with the intensive labors of old. We fuss with children over taking out the trash, they used to have to slop the pigs, feed the chickens, and milk the cow before school started. This mutiny against a clean room or trash duty is nothing but laziness and rebellion against authority.

A Christian child should be diligent in schoolwork and chores or whatever they put their hand to do. They ought to be an example of hard work and a willing laborer. Parents, we must teach our children to do this.


Sista Cala said...

Amen and Amen again. I have linked to this post at my place. Thanks.

Matt Brown said...

I'm linking this as well, Brad. Good stuff for Labor Day!