Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruct ion of the Lord.
It’s been a frustrating morning. I have persisted in encouraging, nagging, pointing out, the need for the girls to take care of their things—pick up the rooms. An age old battle, but it brought to mind a question. How do I get them to value what I value—or at least associate more value on the caretaking of their space?
My initial thought was to tie it to something they value, like an i-pod or cell phone, or, this morning-- both. There is a practical, logical feel to that solution.
Then, I thought is there a faith component to this, my immediate answer was yes, and I happily (full of pride) pulled out the scriptures above to back me up.
Yet, I wonder if I am training correctly—what is the way a child should go? My oldest, a high schooler, yesterday applied for a job. The circumstances behind this act required her to manage through some disappointment, some hurt pride and humbly take initiative in spite of it. She sailed through that important task and test beautifully. Really, it was an impressive real world step of maturity. However, the workout clothes were still stuffed in the corner of the closet. What’s a mama to do?
She also navigated through the sorrow and shock of a class mate’s suicide last week, comforting her friends, asking the right questions, attending the funeral service, praying for the family who lost their son. However, her makeup is sitting exposed like Japan’s nuclear rods next to the makeup case on the floor of her room. What’s a mama to care about?
After thinking this through and finishing their laundry, I wonder how to find a faithful perspective. They do need to learn to be responsible for their stuff and also aware that mismanagement of their stuff affects those (mamas) around them. However, I wonder what part of my heart, mind, thoughts, words are dedicated to the clutter and what are dedicated to relationships, work, ministry.
I need to take care not to train the girls up to be tidy, but faithful (and yes, responsible). I need to give thanks, praise and notice when they walk in obedience to God first and foremost.
Any thoughts on the tension of not just avoid majoring in the minors but also remember to major in the majors.