Trying to get the kids to do their chores is like trying to loose weight while on a heavy dose of Prednisone. It just ain't gonna happen.
I mean, they can make it *look* like a room is clean, but really the out-of-place items are just relocated from the middle of the floor to less obvious places, such as: inside shoes, behind the wood stove, under the couch. You get the picture.
I have a tremendously difficult time with Sage, trying to get him to clean. He will pick up a piece of trash off the floor, and instead of throwing in the trash can next to him, he will throw it on the couch and call it good because it's off the floor. Now, I have told him to "pick up" the room, and that is exactly what he did--Mr. Literal! Getting him to put the object in the proper spot is just near impossible.
And then there is his bedroom. I am sure that the "stuff" in his room averages about 12 inches deep. Knee-high in places due to the "clearing a path" that we ask him to do so we can tuck him in. Again, he did exactly what we ask and pushes the stuff to either side of the desired path, as if parting the waters.
So a couple days ago, I decided it's time to try to figure out how to get him to effectively clean his room.
I put a "Give Away" box, "Put Away" box, and "Throw Away" bag in his room. I sat on his bed and told him we were going to spend one hour a day, going through this mess until it is cleaned up.
"If you don't love it, then give it away. If you love it, then put it away." I explained.
Made sense to me, anyway.
So he picked up a toy and said, "This is 4 years old so I am going to give it away because it's older than 3 years. If it is over 3 years old, it goes in the give away box and if it's 3 years old and up (newer), it goes in the put away pile."
So much for *my* idea.
The problem was that he really did love some of his things that he'd had over 3 years. So I tried to reason with him about this, but he just couldn't grasp what was meant by "if you love it..."
It was too open; not concrete enough.
With his rule there is no need to figure out how to measure, sort, or nail down "love". No need to figure out if he liked something enough to go into the keep it box, versus the give away box.
It is, or it isn't 3 years old. End of story.
And he is right. There is no way nail love down.
Love nailed down.
It just can't happen, except on a Cross.
The Cross that nailed down Love just proved love can't be nailed down; nor can it be measured.
So next time, instead of being frustrated with Those Dreaded Chores, I think I'll reflect on this immeasurable Love: Jesus.
A much better way to clean-being drenched in love while you do it.
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3: 17b-19
The Love of God (by Mercy Me)
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to skyHallelujah (3x)O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song