The second stage that a boy goes through in becoming a man is a job to do.
This stage begins like the first stage, very early in life, and continues throughout their whole life. Teaching a boy that there is a job to do can be even more challenging than the will to obey stage. Adam, the first man, was passive in the Garden of Eden and did not care for his wife according to God’s plan and she fell into temptation. Passivity is something that all men must face.
Passivity means the “acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance.” This is something that comes naturally to many men. This bent to passivity is why the job to do stage has its difficulties. Boys will just let things be in their rooms, they will struggle with working hard and they will let their mothers and fathers do the work without any resistance. They look at their parents doing the work and think, “if I leave it there long enough, they will pick it up.”
So, how do we teach your boys and young men the importance of a job to do? Establishing a good work ethic is a crucial lesson for all men to learn. The lessons we must teaching during this stage:
1. Work is a gift from God.
2. We serve a God that works.
3. Hard work glorifies God because we are working for Him.
4. Work teaches a boy things in life do not come easily.
5. Learning to work hard at a young age gives a boy a rut that will help him in the future.
Work is a gift from God. Genesis 2:15, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” These instructions were given to Adam before the fall. Boys need to be reminded that work is not a punishment. Work gives boys something to pour their energy into, and work produces skills the boy should use later in life.
We serve a God that works. John 5:17, “But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” Here we see God the Father and Jesus both working. God did not leave us on this earth to watch Him do all the work. We have been left on the earth to be good stewards of the earth to bring forth food and use the resources on the earth wisely to care for it and provide for our needs. In Biblical times one of the jobs which received respect was a gardener. A gardener can take dirt and produce a living not just for himself but for others. When we work and are productive we reflect our Heavenly Father.
Hard work glorifies God. 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”–because we are working for Him. The last Sola of the Reformation is Sola Deo Gloria, which means to the Glory of God alone. When many of the cathedrals were being built, there would be many places very high up in the ceiling that no human eye could ever see. Up in these areas many small stained glass windows were put in place to let in the light. When asked why, these stained-glass window workers would respond, “This was done for the eyes of God only.” Many times, these windows would be more detailed and take longer than the windows on the first floor. As boys grow into men, this truth that work is done for the glory of God alone needs to be taught and reinforced. Boys need to learn the truth found in Ecclesiastes 9:10a:“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
Work teaches boys that things in life do not come easily. Psalms 128:2, “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” A boy needs to understand that hard work pays off. Parents need to be careful how they reward children for their help around the house. There are chores and then there are jobs. Chores are part of being in a family. Jobs get rewarded—sometimes not tangibly, but through the satisfaction of a job well done. If a boy is given a task and complaining and laziness are winning the day, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 speaks to this sin: “If you do not work, you should not eat.” Boys stomachs will urge them on–much better than you can, and it is Biblical as well.
Learning hard work at a young age, gives the boy a rut that will help him in the future. There is an Old Jewish Proverb that says, He who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to steal. Understanding that there is a job to do gives a boy purpose and an understanding of what lies in front of him. Idle hands open the door wide for sin and will cause poverty. Therefore, Solomon wrote this:
Proverbs 22:29, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”
by Tim Yorgey