As a mother of all boys, I often worry about making sure that I am doing all that I can to help my sons become men. Yes, they are boys now, but I always have to remember that there is a man growing inside each of those little boy bodies. Thankfully, much of their actual "manliness" training falls under my husband's jurisdiction, but I know I also have an important role to play. If nothing else, I owe it to my future daughter-in-laws to make sure that I deliver them whole and intact as Men of Standard, worthy of the titles of "Husband" and "Father!"
One of the things I wrestle with is teaching my sons how to follow through. I will often assign a task and discover later that they did not quite finish the job. Recently, I told one of my sons to go upstairs and return his truck to his toy box in his bedroom. Well, I came up later and found that truck at the top of the staircase. Follow through? I think not.
When I am tempted to yell and punish, I often hear that still, small voice admonishing me and telling me that this is my fault. I have not diligently taught my children to follow through.
In the middle of rushing to stay on top of my duties as mom, wife, homeschooler, cook, pastor's wife, sister-friend, daughter, and so much more, I often don't take the time to stop and make sure that they are learning the value of seeing a task to completion. Honestly, I usually forget to check to make sure that they have finished the job. Sadly, I will often just finish it so that I can move on to the next thing on my list.
God, in his infinite wisdom, chose to give me a solution to this problem during family devotion. This morning, as we sat around the kitchen table, Andrew asked for the meaning of Proverb 19:24.
"The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth."
In his explanation, my husband basically told him that a sluggard is someone who is so lazy that they never follow through, even for the tasks that are necessary for survival.
I have to admit that I felt so convicted during his explanation because I knew that I had not been setting a good example of following through by ignoring the fact that my children were not following through.
Within one hour after devotion, I had the opportunity to work with my boys during two instances of lack of follow through. Each time, I would ask, "Are you a sluggard?"
Of course, they don't want to be sluggards, so they would puff out their little chests and say, "I am NOT a sluggard."
Then, I would say, "Well, complete your task with excellence."
Then, they ran off to complete their tasks. Of course, I did my part and checked for job completion.
Parenting and training is exhausting and repetitive, but it is worthy work. If I want my boys to be good stewards of their time and resources, I must first set an example by being a good steward of the three precious little boy gifts God has given me.
We are far from adulthood, but I am determined to follow through on teaching my boys to follow through. Besides, I want nice Christmas presents from my future daughter-in-laws!
What do you do teach your children to follow through?