Like most people who work with children and young people, I wish the Bible had more specific things to say about child rearing. A detailed check off list would be nice. An alliterated acrostic for each season of a child’s life would help. Even a few more details about how Jesus grew up would be very valuable.
All we have about His youth is outlined in Luke 2:51-52. We note that He was obedient, grew physically and intellectually, and managed to remain in favor with God and everyone else.
That’s good information, but some updated insights in to today’s youth would help too.
And I heard some the other day. Dr. Tim Elmore was lecturing about the world our kids are growing up in. He reminded us that the 21st century world is moving at breakneck speed and is focused on convenient living with a major emphasis on entertainment.
He remarked that parents are incredibly determined to protect and nurture their children with the inevitable consequence that they will likely be a very entitled generation.
Living at such speed, the message to our kids becomes “slow is bad.” With such a focus on convenience, the message is “anything hard is bad.” When entertainment floods our society, they begin to believe that “boring is bad.” As the protective shield around them tightens, kids learn that “risk is bad.” And when entitlement has its full way, they may conclude, “labor itself is bad.”
Instead of helping them grow and thrive, we seem to be stripping away their life skills and handicapping their ability to be in favor with God or man.
That’s why I am a big fan of chores, family projects, meaningful homework, appropriate expectations and involvement in service opportunities. Our kids must learn that work is good. It may be boring from time to time, it may be challenging and it may very well require some stretching and taking a risk. But work is good.
So this week, if you have a youngster (child or grandchild), consider the value of plain, old, ordinary, hard work. Their character needs it. Our homes need their participation. Our society can’t be sustained if the next generation of adults can’t or won’t roll up their sleeves and work.
Let’s show our love for this next generation by making them work!