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A lot of people look at chores, or responsibilities, in different ways. My parents, though, saw them as training. At a period of time, I saw them as torture…okay, that might be a harsh word, but at times it did feel that way… and meaningless, but that was then. Now, I see chores in a totally new light. Yes, sometimes I still dread them, but that is the human in me; the other part of me thrives on chores.
I’m pretty sure that most children think of chores with a very similar thought. I mean, why make a bed if it is just going to get undone again? I have thoughts like this, too, but not often, because 1.) I don’t like getting out of bed, without having it made, and 2.) I’m just weird that way.
I used to think chores were just messes that got in my way of enjoyment. I couldn’t eat a snack without chores done, I couldn’t play with certain things without all my chores done, I couldn’t watch TV without…you get my idea. To get what I wanted, I usually did the things that were expected of me. There were times when I would have to do them all over again, because the first time I didn’t do it right. Eventually, my mom taught me to look at my job and think: 1.) Did I do it unto the Lord, and 2.) Is it done to mom’s liking.
My parents never let up on making sure my responsibilities were done each day. We each had our own chore list, that changed over time, but was still the basic idea. Do this. Do that. Sometimes our chore chart was based on a weekly basis, and other times it was based on a daily schedule.
Due to my parents persistent training, I am proud of the work ethic they have instilled in me. I love working, whether physically or not. It makes me feel super amazing inside to know that I did a job well done.
I’ve always known I had a servant’s heart, although it does have its selfish moments, and because of my parents training and encouragement to serve others and do things unto the Lord, I feel so amazing when I am serving others. So much so that I want to do more.
In fact, my verse for this year is found in Matthew 20:
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
If Jesus, Son of God, came to this earth to not be served, but to SERVE others, how much more should I be serving His children? I mean, He is the KING and I am His servant. What an amazing example He set for us.
This is what chores have taught me.
Chores not only taught me how to sweep thoroughly, or clean the bathrooms, or even to stay on top of all the laundry. It taught me how to work hard. It taught me to serve, not because it is nice to do, but because it is the only thing to do.
By doing chores, I have received a work ethic that many in my generation lack. By doing chores, I have found my servant heart.
What I once thought was torture and meaningless, is now something I appreciate.
My encouragement to young mothers (although I am not one myself): Don’t do it all. Share the load and stay on top of your children. It may be hard at first, but the end product is the biggest reward, not only for yourself, but for everyone your child meets.
I began doing chores independently when I was four or five years old, doing simple stuff, such as:
- Taking care of my dirty cloths
- Making my bed
- Putting away toys
By the time I was six and seven, I was given assigned chores. It started out small, but as I have gotten older, my list has gotten larger.
Besides chores helping me develop a work ethic and a servant heart, it has also prepared me for one day having my own home. It makes my heart happy to know that I can take care of a large home, almost single-handedly.
A few more resources:
- 7 Household Chores for Toddler and Preschoolers
- A Collection of Tips to Build Habits in Children
- DIY Chore System