The world today places such an emphasis on work that it is so easy to be strung along with whatever principles we hear from life coaches and entrepreneurs who seem to always be on their A-game. If we are to raise our children well, however, it is important to rethink these so-called lessons.
Many wealthy people present work to people today as if it is the sole purpose of life. If you aren’t “hustling” 24/7, then you are wasting your time, or, so they say.
Work is an essential part of living, but be careful not to make it rule your life. Having a Biblical view of work lets you pass on the same values to your kids. This, then, helps them approach their responsibilities with the right attitude, which they will carry as habits as they grow up.
Finding the Good in Work
Genesis 3 details the consequences of life on Earth, including how work has changed, due to the fall of humankind. In the passage, God explains that work has become laborious and troublesome because of sin.
Still, work remains a part of His divine design. It is just a matter of having a rightly aligned perspective of work that puts God—not money, success, or even financial stability—at the center.
Here are some reasons why work remains good amidst its many challenges today.
1. Work teaches practical life skills
Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that work is optional for anyone. While it comes with its struggles, work enables us to make a living. It is an important tool that teaches the importance of discipline and hard work.
Colossians 3:23 is a popular reminder that whatever honest work you find to do, you work at it to the best of your ability. Regardless of your line of work, it is your offering to the Lord and must be met with respect.
How does this apply to your kids? Though they do not have jobs yet, the tasks that make up their daily routine count as work, such as assigned chores and schoolwork.
Also give them avenues to learn more skills by having them watch or join you in doing chores around the house. Even when contractors come in to repair sidings or perform other maintenance, let them observe with you. There are many opportunities for them to practice a good work ethic at home.
2. Work reaps its own earthly rewards
This concept that work comes with hard-earned rewards is usually easier to explain to kids. The lesson is often already reinforced in both academic and home settings, where exemplary work comes with benefits, such as awards, honors, and recognition. However, they should also understand the rewards of work in terms of finances.
Explain that mom or dad is able to provide for the necessities and luxuries you enjoy at home because of work. This is a good opportunity to introduce the concept of jobs and budgeting to them. Show them how you allot your income to pay for various needs and what you do with the money that is left over.
As your kids grow older, take the time to also teach them how to budget their allowance. Open a savings account they will be responsible to deposit money in and maintain and allow them to save up for things that they want but don’t necessarily need.
3. Work enables one to give
Lastly, teach your children that enjoying its rewards is not the sole end of working hard. The financial, material, and other blessings you sow from work are best used to bless other people.
Hebrews 13, the last chapter of this letter, offers closing encouragements to the Christian. Verse 16 in particular mentions a couple of reminders: to do good and to share with others because these actions please God. Generosity, then, is not just a plus, but a way to honor God.
While they are still young, guide your children in the understanding that work should not feed an attitude of greed, but kindness and compassion. This is best taught by example, too. Let your own lives show evidence of generosity and the joy that comes with having an open hand.
In teaching children the Biblical view of work, a practical tip is to see it as a balance. They are not excused for laziness, but they are also not called to go through destructive lengths just to make an honest living. The Biblical approach to work requires discipline and excellence with an ultimate surrender to God’s will.