Today's Mary challenge, on day 15, includes "Write up a lesson plan for your children about the eternal value that taking care of your domain has." There are additional instructions... but boy, am I struggling with this.
My immediate thought is "because I said so." I also make my kids shower regularly. And eat healthy foods. Because they need to. We taught our boys to open doors for women and elderly, and carry things as well, and our boys, who are older teens now, have changed more than one tire for someone alongside the road, or in a church parking lot. Why? Because it's the right thing to do. We've never done a lesson plan, never backed these actions with scriptures, no inspirational quotes.. unless we go with Nikes "Just Do It". :-)
And that's why I expect them to clean their rooms, and not leave a lot of mess around the house. Because it's the right thing to do. We have the additional guilt trip of "this was Grandma's house, would you want to ruin her house and make her sad that we now own it?" Since my kids love, and respect their Grandma, that carries some weight.
So our verse is "Honor your father and mother, which is the first command with a promise". (Yes, they are familiar with the verse in Exodus, and what the promise is) We've talked about this verse a lot over the years. I used to really struggle with it, because my parents are not christians.. and what my mom would choose for my life is so opposite from what I chose. I used to think that to honor her would mean to do things her way.
Then I read a message that essentially spelled it out as "live a life that brings respect to your parents". Oh, that is so much better! We've taught that concept to our children from the time they were little - that what they did, the choices they make, reflect not only on Mom and Dad, but the zillion Aunts and Uncles, great Aunts and Uncles, and grandparents they have. (My husband is from a large family) We've taught them about the contributions those relatives have made to their community, our community. We taught them to live a life that would bring respect to their extended family, before I ever thought of this verse in this way. Usually in the terms of "Aunt so and so has a scanner, would you want her to hear your name come across it? She'd be on the phone with your grandma immediately - would you want Grandma to get that call and be ashamed?"
Extended family does actually report back to us, and to my mother in law, letting us know they hear about the good things our kids do. Or that a friend of theirs worked with our kids in some activity, or volunteer project, and told them how hard they worked, or how polite they were. (trust me, my kids are not perfect.. but they do work really well for others, and are hard workers and overall pretty good kids)
So that's why they need to clean their rooms and not live like pigs. Because it's the right thing to do, to show respect to the rest of their family, especially their immediate family who lives here with them.
It's a short lesson plan, but we've been teaching it over and over for a long time. That works for us. :-)