“Whatever work you do, do your best, because you are going to the grave, where there is no working, no planning, no knowledge, and no wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
Sometimes we can be hard to love! It might just be one of those bad days, a bad mood, not feeling so well, disappointed, aggravated, on and on we could list the factors effecting unlikableness on a given day. This is just as true in our family relationship as it is in our congregational relationship with other Christians, work, and school relationships.
Every family member has a responsibility, obligation and duty to contribute in a good way to the overall success of the family. Our young can be grumpy, irritable, and even selfish! But so can parents and adults!
Let’s face it; we don’t always help create a healthy and happy atmosphere in our own homes, do we? The Lord has provided the family, whether natural or adopted, to be a place where we learn the importance and value of self and one another.
- If brothers and sisters are quarreling or bullying one another constantly, there is an atmosphere of tension, chaos and agitation! Who likes that atmosphere?
- If the adults are at each other all of the time or are always complaining and criticizing, there is a marked absence of peace and quietness! Who likes that atmosphere?
- If one or more of the family are not acting responsibly, helping out with their share (small or great) of the load, someone else has to do it or it doesn’t get done! Hurt feelings, nipping at one another rise to the surface like a troubled sea on a windy day and waves of unkindness and uncertainty roll over us. Who likes that atmosphere?
Yes, our God has given to so many of us the blessing of a family on earth and He wants us to love one another in our families, just as He has shown His love for each one of us. No, no family member is perfect … even if in their own mind at least they are … but neither are any of us! God expects us to help our family, whenever and wherever we get the chance, not just when we’re told to!
We must teach our young by example and instruction to help every other member of our family to feel important … to feel loved … to experience being cared for and cared about … to better understand what grace and mercy are all about! Isn’t this really how our great and loving God helps to make each of us feel?
Our young simply must learn from an early age on … the place, the value, yes, and the necessity of responsibility! Resolve in your own heart and mind and instill in the heart and mind of every other member of the family to do the following:
- Be more helpful around the house! Do those things that need to be done without even being told to!
- Pick up after yourself and put things back where they belong!
- Treat every person’s things with the respect and care you would like for them to be treating your things (whether it’s Legos, writing pencils and pens, coloring books, reading books, trophies, etc.).
It should be understood that some chores are certainly to be age-appropriate. It might turn into a nightmare to have a four or five year old run the vacuum cleaner! But we must all understand that if we wait until they’re almost grown to require helpfulness and gratitude and to have a deep sense of love and commitment to each other, respect and responsibility … it could be too late then! “Time is filled with swift transition …”
“In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people. Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, which he promised to his people. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23, 24).
Bill Fairchild, Jr.