"Am I stealing the time and energy of others in my family by not doing my share of the work?"
WOW... I thought!! Stealing????? I had never thought about it in that manner, however, my heart had surely felt that way. My days are full and I very often feel as though I can never get done what I am wanting to, and I do not even work outside the home. Yet, my children very often leave messes for me to clean up, neglect to do their chores (even simple ones), and stop me while I am busy doing a household task to ask me for things they are more than capable of getting or doing themselves.
After reading this devotion.... I was stunned as that is exactly how I feel when they do these above mentioned things... as if they are stealing my precious time! And you know what... that is exactly what they are doing.
Now, let me clarify! My job is to care for my children, I do this day in and day out and I do not consider meeting their needs and nurturing them stealing my time, however, when they choose to be "lazy" or "demanding"of me, asking me to do things that they themselves, should and could be doing... that is stealing my time. In turn, leaving me exhausted from the extra work that could have been prevented by them doing their part!
What I learned about myself is I am hands down an accessory to their "crime." I am very guilty of doing a lot of the extra work myself to avoid conflict, bad attitudes or possibly having to do it over again as it is not to my "standards." Rather than calling them back downstairs to clean up the dishes they left in the family room, I just do it myself, justifying that I am headed to the kitchen anyway and it will be much quicker! If I continue to constantly do the chores they should be doing themselves, then I have to take part of the blame for my exhaustion.
It takes both time and energy to properly train my children how to properly make their bed, load the dishwasher (yes, I know dear, I need help with this as well!!), fold laundry or hand up clothes, but long term, that is the goal of parenting.... to TRAIN our children in the way they should go. I often fail at this.
As I explained this to the children, they were enlightened as they do not ever want to be known as stealing. The scripture that went along with this was just as enlightening....
"Let him who steals, steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need." Ephesians 4:28
I have to say... this has been one of my favorite devotions to date!!! It has also been very applicable for me as I am now even more aware of stealing other's time and energy.... when it is something I could be doing myself!
A great lesson for all who choose to embrace it!
Peace and Blessings
Your Friend In Christ