Is your child testing boundaries and inexplicably difficult? Ask yourself whether his days are meaningful and productive. Thorns and Thistles are part of the curse, but work itself was assigned to Adam before sin entered the world, and without it we struggle to find our place.
Certainly childhood requires generous amounts of play-time–time to romp, blow dandelions, and simply watch dust particles in the sunlight–but unless balanced with productivity, leisure loses its power to quench and refresh. If denied occupation we battle discouragement, irritability and frustration, whatever our age
Right now, I have a little guy who is needing good wholesome work. He’s begging to learn to read and keeps looking longingly at the dishwasher–watching as his daddy, mommy and older sisters do most the chores. I could put him off. Fitting in time to train little hands takes longer than doing the tasks myself. Yet, his mind and hands are itching to do something purposeful and constructive, and unless afforded an opportunity, he’ll substitute something destructive. I’d be doing him a disservice to deny him the fulfillment of a job well done, and the satisfaction of being a fellow laborer.
(It is a good reminder to myself as well. My work is a blessing.)
(This article was also published in my Taming The Chaos column on the HSB Company Blog)