One of the things we are working on as a family is to strive to do our best in everything we do. I grew up with this principle in my home. I often heard, "A job worth doing is a job worth doing well." This is certainly true. But, it wasn't until later in life when I realized that doing my best went farther than doing a job well. It told a lot about my character and my relationship with Christ. We can look around us everywhere and see that our God is a God who does all things well…and never haphazardly. This is the standard for our lives. We cannot do all things perfectly like Christ, but we can do our best and strive to be creative in our pursuits to the best of our abilities.
So, why do we tell our children to do their best? First of all, because our Lord commands it. "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord." (Col. 3:23) God is creative, industrious, and perfectly artistic in His nature. We should be all of that to the best of our ability and seek to encourage our children in the same way. I know you have come across people who do things just to get by. They have no joy or creativity in the work they do. They find it dull and boring. We, as parents, can also fall into this category. The day to day tasks of life can seem mundane. But the God who causes the same sun to rise on us everyday never looks at life this way, and neither should we. All that we do should be an act of obedience and love toward Him, whether that be going through the phonics book again, making dinner every night or folding the laundry for the thousandth time! So, what are some practical ways to encourage our children to do their best in all things?
1. First, we need to set the example for them. If we are constantly complaining about cooking dinner again, or looking like we would rather be anywhere else than working on this math problem, they will follow our lead. Show your children that whatever the task God has called you to, you can find joy in it. And whatever you do, go the extra mile. We teach so much to our children just in our day to day actions with them.
2. When you give your child a job, expect their best. If they do not give it to you, require them to redo it until it is the their best. Sometimes this is so hard. It is much easier to do a job yourself than to stay on someone and make sure they are meeting the standards. But, to fail in this area just teaches our children that they can give half-heartedly and there are no consequences. This is not true discipleship. We must get in our mind that training our children in righteousness is our first priority and everything else is secondary.
3. Give your children a chance to show their creativity. If you ask your girls to set the table, let them "decorate" it. Ask them to find flowers from outside, to make name markers for each place, to fold the napkins a special way. All these things allow your child to see the beauty in the everyday. Sitting down to dinner each night then becomes an exercise in creativity. My oldest daughter loves to put the food on the table in beautiful bowls. Would it be easier to have everyone line up in the kitchen and serve it from the pots? Yes, and many times we have! But, when she sets the table so lovely, it shows her desire to go the extra mile and it does make the evening meal a much more beautiful event.
4. Always remind your children why this is required. It is because God always gives His best to us and He requires His children to give their best to others. It causes our children to be servant minded, to think of others more highly than themselves.
So, this coming week…teach your children to give God their best in everything they do and see how the Lord blesses the creativity He has given your family!