I know men who can do wiring. I know men who can do fine woodworking. I know men who can solder and weld. I know men who can take an engine apart, fix it, and put it back together again. I know men who are gardeners and expert fishermen. I know men who are marksmen. And once again, these are not their jobs, but their hobbies which they also use to serve others.
Meanwhile, I see a generation of children who sit around the house playing video games, or bouncing a basketball on a court all day, or sitting on the porch steps with other kids, shooting the breeze and talking, while doing absolutely nothing worthwhile, nor learning anything useful. Why aren't we teaching our boys and girls to do stuff?!
Why aren't we teaching them life skills that they can use to help others? We certainly have ample examples in the Bible.
Adam and Eve were expected to tend a garden and live off of it.
Rachel, Rebekah, David, and the sons of Jacob were expected to know animal husbandry as part of their families' survival.
Ruth grew up knowing she was expected to work hard, not just for herself, but also for others, even those not blood family.
Miriam was willing to use her musical and poetic talent to teach the women of Israel.
Jael and Rizpah learned that being strong and brave, and doing the dirty work was someone's responsibility, and you shouldn't wait around on a man to get it done when you are the only person available.
Dorcas learned to sew, and with that ability served the church so well that she was the one Peter raised from the dead rather than the recently slain deacon and preacher Stephen.
I know a man whose plan for retirement is to use his considerable handyman skills to perform free labor for the widows in the church. He learned those skills as a young man and has become a good steward of the abilities God gave him. What do you plan for your retirement? Spending more time serving others, or serving yourself by traveling for months on end, or playing golf several times a week, or going hunting nearly every weekend, or whatever else you think you deserve? Do you have any plans at all for serving the church now that your time is not taken up with the necessities of making a living and raising a family?
What do you know how to do? What are you teaching your children how to do, and more especially, what are you teaching them about their obligations as a child of God to serve others? Are you even home long enough to do that teaching?
When it came time to decide if a widow deserved to be placed on the payroll, serving the church every day, what were the qualifications? If she has a good report for her good works, if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has given relief to those who were afflicted, if she has devoted herself to every good work (1Tim 5:10). Why do you think she could do those things? Because she learned them as a child and, most likely, watched others doing them! What do your children see you doing?
God wants us to serve. He wants children who have learned to do stuff! And he wants us out there doing that stuff, no matter our age, no matter our wealth, and certainly no matter our social status. Service is what Christianity is all about. Let's make sure our children will have something to offer.
That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God (Col 1:10).