Lately, as I’ve watched my own children and talked with others about their children, I’ve come to realize that parenting MUST be intentional. It’s great to talk to our kids, expose them to good literature and examples, have them memorize Scripture, but frankly, that’s not enough. We need to be actively training them, just like they do in boot camp. The army doesn’t expect soldiers to know how to fight a battle when they first enlist. They send the enlistees through serious training, giving opportunities for them to practice skills repeatedly.
I think we need to be this way with our child training. We need to give our children opportunities to live out the character qualities we’re trying to instill in their lives. Hudson Taylor’s father constantly encouraged his children to exercise self-control by practicing self-denial in the little things. He didn’t just preach the quality to them. He looked for ways to help them live it out.
Diligence seems like a great quality with which to start. Here are the ways I’m going to work on diligence in my children’s lives:
- Chore Chart: I haven’t been giving my kids many opportunities to work hard. It’s so much easier to clean up myself or help them finish a project than to wait while they do it themselves. This has got to stop! Proverbs 22:29 states: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings, he will not serve obscure men.” The only way my children will learn to be skilled in their work is by, well, having work to do! I’m going to assign them both two or three chores which they have to complete regularly. We’ll use this as a diligence training ground. Pray for me patience!
- Ant Farm: The Bible says to learn from the ants and be wise…so let’s do it! If my husband agrees, we’re going to order this ant farm. Doesn’t it look cool? I think it will open up opportunities for discussion, plus keep us all diligent in feeding the ants. It will be a family character project! Confession: Well, I wrote the most of this post several weeks ago as I was working on Diligence plans. Since then, I’ve known I was going to start giving my kids chores and have them finish a job completely instead of halfway like they normally do. But I didn’t want to do it yet. I’ve put it off and put it off and put it off. It’s so much work to get them to finish a job! I’ve been a lazy parent…hopefully as we get these lessons underway, I’ll be much more disciplined about building discipline in their lives. How about you? How are you at requiring your children to do chores and keeping them accountable? This is SOOO hard for me. I’d love input from others. I think I know the “why” of it all, but am not sure about the “how” .