Teens and Work
Reading a recent report, I was saddened to learn that many teens [ages 16+] do not work. It’s not that work is not available; they have no desire to work. There may be multiple reasons. But I want to give reasons to parents why work is so important for their teens. Summer is here and many are not in school.
First, they learn responsibility – the responsibility of waking up on time, getting to work on time and putting in a full day’s work. They learn to respond to challenges properly and how to interact socially with others in the work place. This already begins at a very young age, as parents give them tasks in the home. They learn the responsibility and the discipline involved in ‘helping’ out at home.
Second, they learn the value of money. As the saying goes, `money doesn’t grow on trees.` Hard-earned dollars come through hard, diligent work. Those who work understand the real cost of the latest gadgets on the market or education at a university. Youth do learn the value of money when they work 8 hour days, 6 days a week in the summer months earning minimum wage! This especially becomes real if they pay their own way through college or university!
Third, they learn to think about others. We live in a ‘me-me’ generation, where no one else matters. What matters is that my needs are met. But when our children are taught to help out at home, share in the work load such as helping out in the garden, doing the laundry or putting out the garbage, they learn to serve dad, mom and siblings. As they grow up, they also think about their parents and learn not to depend on them for everything .
Finally, God intended for us and our children to work. God created man to image Him in three ways: by resting, working and relating. He intended for us to rest one day, work six days. Some see work as a necessary evil. But when God made this world, He created us to reflect Him by working. Work is a calling to serve Him in His creation. It’s a service ultimately to Him.
Because of sin, this idea is lost. In Christ, we again see work as a calling to serve God in our world. Then we rediscover the meaning, the purpose, and the joy in working!