I have explained to my children a few times that I didn’t particularly want them to work in their teen years. I didn’t believe that going off to get a job at some fast food joint was a rite of passage that every teen had to experience. Yes, I know the benefits of discipline, time management, money management etc that a job can give. But there is more than one way to skin a cat!
I explained to them that I want them to invest their time and energy into doing exceptionally well in school in the hopes of getting scholarships. The money they could possible get in a scholarship may far outweigh the money they could earn on their own. Also I want them to explore the things they enjoy doing, and just have fun. I want them to get an understanding of their strengths, talents and abilities before entering the wonderful world of work. Actually truth be told I don’t ever want them to enter that world.
So last week I decided to have a refresher. I told them that one aspect of pursuing the kingdom of God one was to pursue their passion rather than money. My eldest son loves shoes!!! He sits and look at shoes hours on end. Oh I should say this, he’s not looking at stilettos, no just Jordans. He has his own business in which he restores or customizes Jordans. So on this refresher day I told him since he had school, rep baseball and his shoe business, he should invest his free time and effort into his business instead of getting a job. He simply didn’t have time to both well so I chose the business. But with entrepreneurship who knows the sky is the limit.
Later that same day we went to the mall with two of his friends. I say we because someone had to drive, me. But no I didn’t get the privilege of walking in the mall with them to supervise their purchases. After they bought more shoes, we all sat around and ate and chat. They of course talk of all the things they would have loved to have bought and unfortunately or fortunately depending on your perspective Isaiah was the only one that didn’t have a job so he had the least amount of money to shop.
When the kingdom of God is being taught the devil himself show up! Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8 all tell the story of the sower and the seed. The sower being the teacher and the seed being the message of the kingdom of God. “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.” Matthew 13:19
Sure enough my son’s friends spent at least 30 minutes trying to, no sorry not trying to as they were successful, convincing him to get a job. Basically their argument was you are 16 its time to get a job man. I listened intently in wonder but decided not to interrupt them.
After dropping them off at home I was sure to point out to my son how on the very same day I talk about holding off on the job is the day that they decide to tear down all that I had said to him. It couldn’t have been more obvious. Of course my son didn’t notice on his own but thank God I was the driver that day as it gave me the opportunity to show my children how the devil works, subtle but smart. The devil is not some green eyed monster but he uses our friends and family to manipulate us into doing and thinking the things he wants us to. His job is to challenge the principles God has already laid out in His word and make us go instead for the things we can see, the desires of the flesh.
After explaining all this to my children I took that as opportunity to replant the seed that the evil one had dug up and now I believe it was planted in good ground!