Working parents everywhere can resonate with the age-old question “Do you have to go to work today?”
Our kids will groan and complain and even flat out tell us not to go! Our heart breaks a little inside. We hate to leave them, but we know it’s necessary. And some of us even find great satisfaction in our jobs!
So where does this leave our kids?
It’s important to understand that fundamentally God created us to work, and He derives great pleasure from seeing us work things out with excellence.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
So no matter what you do, whether you work outside the home or in it – you will find yourself wrestling with how to show your kids the importance of what you do every day.
When presented with this question, many of us will just give up. We don’t know how to explain what we do, and even if we give them a very simplified version of what we do, they tend to look at us like “is that really important?”
I have a few suggestions for you – and it starts with some soul-searching on your part. Maybe you’ve already thought through these questions before, or maybe this is your first time actually even pausing to think about why you do what you do every. single. day.
But in the end, it’s important for you to know the why behind it. And even more important for your kids to know.
Here are 3 questions to start with. And I suggest you truly take some time to sit down with these and write in some verses or thoughts/quotes that help reinforce your ideas of work.
- What has God specifically gifted me with? What are my talents? Where do I excel? What are some of my resources I can use that are unique?
- How do I use my gifts in the workplace? Are others benefiting from my specific set of skills? What does that look like practically?
- How am I serving my family by going to work every week? What benefit does it give them when I go to work?
When you look at yourself through God’s view and mindset, you will realize that you were created specifically to work in a certain way and with certain gifts. It’s ok to take pride in that! It’s God’s original work, and He is the one who deserves the praise.
Now here comes the important part…
Share these insights with your kids.
It is probably not the best time to discuss this when you are running out the door with keys in your hand! Think breakfast time, or maybe dinner at the end of a long day, or when you are all relaxed and chatting on the weekends.
The sooner your kids start to realize the importance of your work, the sooner they will begin to see how they can be inspired to do great things in their line of work one day.
My guess is you don’t want them working in a dead-end job with absolutely no use of their God-given gifts? Am I right?
That is why we train them up and inspire them to see their true potential.
One of my favorite children’s books on this topic is The Giving Farmer. In the story, the farmer is shown toiling through his work days and wondering if what he does is even important (sound familiar?).
In the end the farmer realizes that because he works, he is able to give to different characters in the story – i.e. a pig, sheep, horse. While it is still cute and fun, it drives home the concepts of work and what that means in a childlike framework.
The goal in all of this is to help our kids understand the gravity of providing for a family, seeing the fruit of our labor, and also giving generously to others who need it! That is a huge blessing of work, and who wouldn’t want their kids to see that?
Have you ever thought about the reason behind why you work, and what makes “how you work” unique? Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear what that looks like for you!
The Faithful with Finances Team