"A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied," reads Proverbs 13:4.
Having a strong work ethic is one of the most important virtues championed in scripture. God asks us to do our work diligently and with joyful hearts. We are to be thankful for the opportunity to satisfy our needs and desires with the work of our hands. "A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied," reads Proverbs 13:4. These and other spiritually motivating verses have always inspired Christians to work hard.
Because of the personal and societal value of hard work, Christian parents must take care to instill a strong work ethic in their children. You can teach your children how important hard work is by setting a good example, rewarding their initiative, having the right expectations, and teaching them that hard work is God's work.
Setting a Good Example
You cannot expect your child to value hard work if they never see you valuing it yourself. If you want to raise kids who take pride and joy in doing a good job, then you need to kick your own habits of procrastination and laziness to the curb. You should also take care not to let your kids hear you complaining or bemoaning the fact that you have to do work.
Kids do not need a lot of fanfare just for doing their homework or finishing their chores, but acknowledgement and appreciation are certainly needed if you want them to keep up good work habits. A few encouraging words are often enough to make a child feel proud and happy to have finished their work, but an extra little treat once in a while as a reward certainly will not hurt either.
Setting the Right Expectations
Before giving your child a task to complete, you need to make sure that you have a good idea of what you can fairly expect from them. Overburdening your child and then becoming angry with them when they do not do a good enough job is one of the quickest ways to make them believe that hard work is not worth the effort.
Hard Work as God's Work
All throughout the Books of Psalms God is invoked and praised for His involvement with numerous different aspects of our lives, including His involvement in our work. "May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands," beseeches an inspiring quote from Psalm 90:17. If, from a very young age, you teach your child that their efforts and initiatives are established by God and finds favor in God, then they will grow up truly valuing hard work.
Given the right environment, proper guidance, and gentle nurturing, children are often receptive to the idea of hard work. They are generally eager to please and show that they can be trusted with important tasks and responsibilities. Capitalize on these natural inclinations by sticking to the pointers outlined above, and you will raise a child who takes pride and happiness in a job well done.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.