Jesus never sugar coated the difficulty of work to the disciples. When He took them out to do the work of spreading kingdom of God, He told what the cost of their hard work would be. “The Son of Man has no place to lay His head”. (Luke 9:58) “But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation”. (Luke 17:25) , “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first”. (John 15:18) “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”. (Luke 9:23).
Along with Jesus they lived many a night under the stars and never had a home of their own. They saw Jesus in confrontation with the Pharisees and Sadducees, rejected by His own neighbors and family as the Messiah, constantly besieged by crowds requesting healing and deliverance. It was a hard life and Jesus lived it in right in front of His disciples. They had no illusions about what the cost would be for this work that Jesus had called them to.
When everyone lived in an agrarian culture, children were able to observe mom and dad and the community working the farm. They were up early and putting in long hours of toil to meet the family’s needs. Difficulty and even disaster were a normal part of their cycle of life.
Today however, work is oftentimes not so transparent to our children. Many of us leave the house and go off to work and our children don’t see what we do and the daily difficulties that we have to overcome. If we want our children to recognize the importance of labor and the reality that the sweat of the brow against an often unyielding soil in the workplace, we are going to have to plan for it.
My wife and I have been working on an illustrated children’s book together for 18 years off and on. We have struggled through all the phases of writing, illustrating, editing and then self publishing. Through it all our kids have been right there with us. We have been transparent regarding the difficulties and disappointments.
We do our kids a great favor by showing them that God given work can be very hard to do.
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents because it provides the Big Story of God’s wonderful plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.