wisdom from the wife
i think my wife is a better writer than i am. she amazes me most of the time, something i need to let her in on more often. here’s her last post from her blog, i married a chinese guy that has had me do some thinking about marriage particularly on how to love her and help her grow.
The Principle Cause of Boredom is the Hatred of Work ::.
OK. I admit it. I don’t like it, but I admit it. I am lazy.
I can be a super hard-working athlete in practice, love spending hours and hours in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove, and on the other hand loathe doing dishes (good thing I didn’t grow up Chinese or I’d never get invited to dinner), allow laundry to pile up for weeks and not mind the endless clutter that occupies my home.
Enter the lazy factor.
In her book, Keep a Quiet Heart, Elizabeth Elliot writes:
“The principle cause of boredom is the hatred of work. People are trained from childhood to hate it. Parents often feel guilty about making children do anything but the merest gestures toward work. Perhaps the children are required to make their beds and, in a feeble half-hearted fashion, tidy up their rooms once a month or so. But take full responsibility to clear the table, load the dishwasher, scrub the pots and wipe the counters? How many of us have the courage to ask this of a ten-year-old? Children quickly pick up on their parents’ negative attitudes toward work and think of it as something most sedulously to be avoided.”
Ah hah! So it’s all my mom’s fault for the sloth that I have become. Well not really. But I deeply regret the fact that I wasn’t required to do chores around the house. My bed was never made, my room was cleaned maybe once a month or whenever company came over and it was perfectly acceptable to leave the dishes for days on end. I must insert that fact that Laurence thought long and hard about this before marrying me. (Now that’s counting the cost!) I must also insert that fact that if/when we have kids, they’re most certainly getting put to work!
Fulfillment is not a goal to achieve, but always the by-product of self sacrifice.
You know…the Bible really exalts a hard working character. Check out the Proverbs 31 chick… “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (verse 27)
That’s what I want to be. I want to manage my household like the best of them and glorify god through my diligence at work and at home. But I feel like I’m getting so obese from that “bread of idleness”. Ether I’m so scatter brained that I don’t finish what I start, or I’m too lazy to even begin.
I’ve come to learn that Laurence really likes a clean, orderly household and early on in our marriage he communicated to me that it’s not just a matter of preference, but that the state of our household really has an effect on how he feels and the quality of his work. I admit that I didn’t completely understand it at first, but nonetheless took his words to heart and tried my best. Two years later, I can really see how a sense of restlessness and lack of peace is brought on by a chaotic home and life.
So the desire to change and grow is there, but I get so frustrated. It seems that right after I make steps towards diligence, I’m thrown right back into the pit of idleness from which I emerged.
This excerpt really challenged me:
“Wouldn’t it make an astounding difference, not only in the quality of the work we do (in office, schoolroom, factory, kitchen or backyard), but also in our satisfaction, even our joy, if we recognize God’s gracious gift in every single task, from making a bed or bathing a baby to drawing a blueprint or selling a computer? If our children saw us “doing heartily unto the Lord” all the work we do, they would learn true happiness. Instead of feeling that they must be allowed to do what they like, they would learn to like what they do.
St. Ignatius Loyola prayed “Teach us, Good Lord, to labor and to ask for no reward save of knowing that we do thy will.” … As we make an offering of our work, we find the truth of a principle Jesus taught: Fulfillment is not a goal to achieve, but always the by-product of self sacrifice.”
It’s really about a change in heart rather than a change in action. How do I view the work that I am given to do?
I can force myself to do the most unpleasant of tasks from time to time, but only an attitude adjustment will produce the long term effects I so dearly desire. Only a change in my character will result in a pattern of diligence being developed in my life.
It’s time to grow.