Why “It’s Good for You” Isn’t Enough for Me

Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you,

but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

Ephesians 6:6


Last night, I called up the stairs, “Hey, Spencer…”

He replied, “Yes, Ma’am!”

My kids don’t usually call me “Ma’am.” But Spence could tell by the tone of my voice that I was going to ask him to do something, and he was agreeing in advance. (Mom Moment: Awww, he’s such a great kid… but don’t worry, he’s not always like that.)

In Building Your House, I share quite a bit about how The Uptons view chores, allowances, and rewards. (In a nutshell: we assign chores and give small allowances, but they aren’t directly connected to each other.)  I’ve been very intentional about teaching my kids different ways they can help around the house, using Chore Passports (if you missed that post and the free printable, be sure to check it out). I’ve also thought about how much I require them to give me that help. (Again, in a nutshell: sometimes.)

But writing Building Your House made me think about the “why.” Why do we teach them to do chores? Because it’s somehow “good for them” to take out the trash?


Well, doing something because popular culture says it’s “good for us” isn’t good enough for me anymore.


I want to do things because Jesus says it’s good for Him, and thus for us. I want to do all things for His glory, not just because I somehow feel it’s “the right thing to do.”

So, Christian parents, what do you think?  Why do we teach our kids to do chores and help out around our homes?


Here’s what I think: We do it to help them become functioning members of the Body of Christ.


When I yell, “Hey, Spencer…” and he replies, “Yes, Ma’am,” that’s him getting ready to hear God’s call to serve.

When he asks if he can take out the trash later and I say, “Nope, just do it” that’s him getting ready to heed God’s call, even when he doesn’t feel ready.

When he asks if one of the other kids can take over a chore because he has tons of homework or is just so tired, and I say, “Actually, I’ll do it for you,” that’s him experiencing grace.

When we give our kids chores, it’s not because we’re trying to “build character,” or forcing them to be slaves for us.


We’re teaching them to be slaves for Christ.


From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4:16


Take the Challenge: How are you going to be intentional about teaching your kids to be slaves for Christ?


How do you handle chores in your home?

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