The right to work….
I have fought and fought with one of my adopted boys about “work”. Each of us have chores to perform in the home, and one thing I have discovered with the foster care program is that either foster parents don’t encourage the kids to work, or it allows them to whine their way out of work, or it requires very little effort on the chores meted out to the foster kids. NO foster child that has visited my home, or that I later adopted, is accustomed to any sort of responsibility when it comes to chores or work. They look at me like I am from a foreign planet when I discuss the value, personal reward and satisfaction that comes from doing a job well. To them work is punishment—-plain and simple.
Anyway, the fight got heated today with one of the boys; he simply does not like to work and sees no “joy” in doing his tasks thorough—-let alone excellent. So rather than go through another hour of lectures and debates about the virtues of “hard work”, I told him that he no longer had to do anymore work in the house and that the other boys would pick up his work, but he would forfeit all TV, movies and anything “high in carbs” (which is most of what he prefers to consume) until he earned the “right” to work again. He is ecstatic.
Try as I might to instill a work ethic in some of the children —-and staff—that attend our camp or live with us, work seems to have become the new “four letter word” for many. But I know that this is true: Work is good. How do I know this? Because Jesus worked with His hands, and He continued to teach that God works still. “Now because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews began to persecute Him. But Jesus answered them, “To this very day My Father is at His work, and I too am working.” (John 5:16-17)
My boys are not yet enjoying the pleasure of doing a job well——not yet, but God willing they will one day! Satisfaction from work is joy from God—-it’s good to look at the work we’ve done and be satisfied, and it’s a crime and pity to NOT be able to work.
With many people now at home legally not permitted to work, I am reminded that even retirement has its pitfalls and is certainly not a Christian notion. It’s been said by someone that “a retired husband is often a wife's full-time job.” And having three boys at home, with one of them disinclined to work, my task of watching them and keeping them positively occupied is similarly a full time job.
Lord lift this virus soon…..