Jordan and I have been concerned lately about our older two boys’ lazy tendencies. They are lazy in different ways. Aidan does everything fast. Fast and impulsive. He zips through his schoolwork making careless errors right and left and has to re-do much of his work each day. If we ask him to do a chore, he either blows through it too fast so that he can move on to something more fun, or drags it out forever with endless dawdling and distraction. Gresham is more classically lazy. If it’s time to pick up toys, he rolls around on the floor while Aidan does most of the work. If I ask him to do something, he says, “Yes, Mom!” and then wanders off and does something else. He is able to fly under the radar pretty well because Mom is so busy all the time!
A couple weeks ago, a pastor named Mike Fabarez came to our church as a guest speaker and did a sermon entitled “Adopting a Christian Work Ethic.” It was packed full of practical ways to obey God’s commands to work as unto Him. You can listen to the sermon here – it’s definitely worth your time!
This gave us the spark we needed to tackle the laziness at our house! For weeks, I have been nagging the boys to work harder. This has not worked because they had no motivation other than my nagging. What I should have been doing was confronting them with the truth of God’s Word so that their hearts could be convicted!
Here are the passages that we studied during Bible time:
- Colossians 3:22-25, with vs. 23 being a memory verse: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,”
- 2 Thessalonians 3:10 – If a man won’t work, then he shouldn’t eat!
- Proverbs 6:6-11 – These verses are about observing hard-working ants. Go outside and observe some ants with your kids!
- There are many more Proverbs on laziness and the sluggard. I had a list made, but the dog chewed it up! Check your concordance.
We have had good success using some sort of visual tool to help us remember the truth being taught, so I made this chart:
S – speeds through work
L – leaves jobs for others to finish
O – only wants to do what’s fun
T – takes too long, dawdling
H – half done is good enough
When we got through this list, Aidan said, “Hmm, I leave things for others to finish… I speed through work… I think I do everything on this list! I guess I need to work on not being lazy!” Then he took it upon himself to copy down the list in his notebook and made sure to pray that God would help him to do a better job during prayer time. God’s Word is living and active! (Heb. 4:11)
At the bottom of the chart, I had the boys help me think of an opposite for each item at the top. I helped with the wording, but they were able to think of the concepts.
One thing that has helped us is to talk through what this actually looks like. For example, I asked Aidan today, “What does it like to work for men rather than work for God?” We came up with: working only when a parent is watching, not caring if something is done wrong as long as no one notices, and playing instead of working.
We are definitely still a work in progress on this issue, but I am praying that God will help my boys to be diligent workers!