Spring has sprung, and it’s time to air out mattresses, do yard work, empty lockers, and move college kids back in. There’s nothing better than enjoying the summer with a clean house. But don't do it alone--get the whole family involved! Spring cleaning allows your children to learn important life skills as well as good spiritual truths.
Making this principle a habit allows the practitioner to enjoy life at its fullest. Necessary jobs are accomplished and rewarded with fun time. Play time is unencumbered by the thought of what you should be doing. Procrastination and guilt don’t feel good. You don't have to do everything at once, but choose some needed jobs before the fun ones. The Bible is clear there are times for work and times for fun, different seasons for diligence, rest, and celebration (Ecclesiastes 3:1-13).
You have plenty to do, and you might be surprised how much more efficient and fun it can be to work together. Our productivity compounds and multiplies when we do things side-by-side. Groups of people working together increases productivity exponentially.
You might face some initial investment in training your kids to actually do the work, but when they learn they can do it, and that you aren't going to let them go because they complain, they will become helpers. Make it a game and as fun as possible. Make it a race, sing a song, enjoy your time with your kids. Here are more ideas:
You might also struggle with the idol of perfection, and be hesitant to let your children do a job less perfectly than you can. Resist this impulse! First, perfectionism is an illusion, distraction, and even spiritual problem--in other words, an idol. Second, your kids need to learn to work, and they need to learn life skills. They need to learn how to clean, do their own laundry, buy their own groceries, cook a basic meal, and a hundred other life lessons.
“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” ~ Theodore Isaac Rubin
God gave Adam the task of naming the animals before he gave Adam a wife! We are made in God’s image, and at the end of the day God announced that his handiwork was good. He understands the joy that comes from a job well done and wants us to experience that. Providing opportunities for your children to experience this is a gift, not a curse.
If you make a plan ahead of time, working together can increase your productivity and make spring cleaning a lot of fun. Even more importantly, it can teach your children principles that will make them successful, productive, and joyful adults.
Rev. Dr. Rob Toornstra
Rev. Deb Koster