For Lent this year, I’m giving up laziness. In healthy families, everyone works to keep the household running. We don’t do our children, our spouses or ourselves any favors when we don’t require some sort of consistent work from everyone in the family.
There are two types of work. The first is the one we are all used to; that which makes money for our necessities and desires. The second is housework. Unfortunately, many mistakenly think the latter is women’s work, whether or not she has a job outside the home. This may have been the norm decades ago, but it can no longer be so. One reason is that most women now have to work outside of the home. Second, and more important, the Jesus model is that we serve each another.
Keeping relationships together and strong is work. Sometimes we may even have to help each other remember that. Men must take the lead as examples of servant-leadership in their homes, but I have yet to match the level of service that I see in the women around me. I don’t even want to tell you all that my wife does. Let’s just say that her level of service is amazing. I was spoiled by my mother, but I’m 50 now. That can’t be my excuse for not stepping up. My mother spoils everyone around her by her service. Oh sure, once I try to cook on the weekends, take care of the dishes occasionally and fold and put away some clothes. That takes care of maybe 10% of the housework.
I’ve let my children off the hook too much also. I have picked up after them and done their share of the housework instead of requiring it of them. So, here’s my goal that may inspire some of you. First, I plan to do more around the house, even if it means I get up early to do it before work. Second, I will expect more of the last child I still have at home part-time.
Here’s a couple of good scriptures to spur us on. Ephesians 5:25 says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (NKJV)
And for our children…Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (NKJV) Just as an aside, this one assumes we are giving commands to our children and acting in such a way that promotes honor.
So, let’s not just give up laziness for Lent, but forever so we may serve one another in love and keep our families strong.