Since our two kids came along, cleaning clothes and taking out the trash takes twice as long. Pretty much everything my wife and I once did with precision and efficiency has gotten much slower and less precise.
This is not our kid’s fault.
Yesterday I ate lunch at home. When I left to come back to work, my oldest son was taking clothes out of the washing machine and putting them into the dryer. My youngest son was helping him by putting clothes, GI Joes, cereal, vitamins, gasoline and the cat into the dryer. The crazy thing is that we don’t even own a cat.
We have traded in our efficiency and precision for training and training can be very slow and very messy.
I couldn’t be happier.
Our two boys are growing up in a culture where male adolescence extends into the late 20s and even 30s. I think about this when I’m in a hurry and tempted to do something that my sons are supposed to be doing. It would be so much quicker if I just dressed them myself or did the trash on my own. And then I could finally relax, knowing that my job is done.
But it wouldn’t really be done.
My job is done when my boys become men who know that their number one objective in life is to glorify Jesus Christ and that they can do that best by working hard and serving gladly.
Things don’t really seem all that precise or efficient around our house. But maybe, beneath the trash bags waiting to be taken out and the army men in laundry baskets, something better than precision and efficiency is happening. Maybe, instead of running a well oiled machine, just maybe, we’re raising up future leaders who know what it means to work hard for the glory of God.
One day precision and efficiency will return to our house. I’ll get the trash done all by myself and my wife will finish the laundry in record time. And we’ll do both without the unbearable pain of stepping on a Lego. But when we finish and sit down to relax, we’ll probably miss the messy training days when it took us a little longer to get things done. And one day, our two sons will probably lead imprecise and inefficient families of their own. Instead of relaxing, each of my sons will probably be teaching their own kids the slow and messy lessons of doing work for God’s glory.
I sure hope so.