Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bible Study: Assigning chores

Romans 15:22
Jeremiah 29:10-14
I have a vision for my children to become responsible, capable adults. I know from both my life and the lives of many others I know that responsibilities given to them as children will help them learn the skills they will need when they grow up and, conversely, a childhood filled with nothing but play will burden them with unnecessary challenges in adulthood. But they don't see these things. They wonder when I delegate chores and schoolwork whether I don't want them to enjoy the freedom to play. They don't see the opportunity to overcome innate laziness and the small proportion of chores to playtime that they are actually given. They don't realize that learning diligence now while mixed with a hefty dose of fun will make their later life an easier and healthier balance of hard work with relaxation. But I see their lives from a different perspective and my love for them motivates me to continue handing out small responsibilities out of a desire that they will make the bigger responsibilities they encounter later on will just a little bit easier to manage.
Life doesn't always follow the plans we organize for it. That is why we find Jeremiah 29:11 so reassuring: someone knows what is going on when we do not and has a plan to arrange our lives in a way that will bless us. We are like children who would rather spend our days on our own toys and hobbies but find circumstances switch up our plans when we least expect it. We know how things ought to turn out from our perspective and become confused when our plans become upset. Yet the Lord sees our lives from a very different angle. We might think that life should have continued along our original path--that Paul should have been able to travel to Rome earlier--yet trust that when reality turns us in another direction that the Lord, who sees from a better perspective, must have a purpose in the new path which will bless us more than we can understand right now. Even more effectively than a parent's perspective to bless children by assigning chores.

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