Posted by: mamaamy | April 10, 2008

King Caleb (lord of the trash)

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Microsoft Word Version: King Caleb, Lord Over the Trash Document

If you have been reading the various posts on this site, then you have an idea by now that our children have been trained to contribute to our household community. Each child has what we call “Stewardship.” Others may call them chores or housework, but we refer to them as stewardship because we feel that this implies delegated authority and doesn’t just mean work. We try to share the stewardship of our home, garage, yard, vehicle, and schoolroom according to the age and maturity of the child. Every child contributes in some way—even the 3 year old.

Together as a family we have defined the “Standards” of the Cowart household. When we work at our stewardship, then we work to uphold the standards that have clearly been defined. So, for example, Phoebe’s stewardship in the kitchen is unloading the silverware from the dishwasher. She (being 5) will often just throw the large forks in with the small forks and be done with it. As her manager/trainer, I check on her work to see if she is doing it up to the standards. When I see that she is slacking and not doing it up to the standard (each size in its own compartment) then I must take the time to talk to her about her work. Is she doing a good job? Is she upholding the standards? Now, does the silverware being in the proper compartment really matter? No, but taking every opportunity to train our children to do good work is valuable. It’s not about the silverware at all—it’s what is in their heart. Are they doing their best? “Please do good work—up to our standards.”

Recently we have started to talk about training in stewardship a little differently. This is because of the paradigm shift that is taking place…

key: nepios=newborn teknon=teenager huios=mature son

Ultimately God made us because He wants sons.(Mal 2:15) And He says that we, as joint heirs (Rom 8:17) with Christ, will rule and reign with Him.(2 Tim 2:12) We are being trained (Heb 12:7) in this life as sons to prepare us to work in the Father’s business—the business of ruler-ship of the Kingdom.(Rev 20:6) We are now seeing that each person, or part of the Body of Christ, is delegated “authority” over smaller parts of the Kingdom of God. We are given a measure of rule (2 Cor 10:13) according to our maturity and ability. When we are “faithful in the little things,” often we are given more to rule over. (Matthew 25, parable of the talents)

For our children, we have been talking about their stewardship in these terms of “rule.” Each child is given an area of rule in our little part of the kingdom. They are given rule according to their maturity and ability, and faithfulness. Here is an example of how this is changing both the way our children view their stewardship and how we view our children:

One part of Caleb’s stewardship is the trash. For a long time Caleb has been working at keeping the trash areas up to the Cowart standards (no trash anywhere but in trash receptacles and those emptied when needed,) but he has been struggling. He has been feeling that he is a slave to the trash. Our Caleb is visionary. (See: Life with my Visionary) He is very distracted by ideas, thoughts, stuff, what another person says, a sound, etc. So when he is reminded to take care of his stewardship (the trash), although he is very willing to do it, he often will get distracted on his way to the trash can. (Mitch, being a visionary also, struggled with this as a child.) We have been getting more frustrated with him and he has been getting more discouraged as well. One day, as Mitch was observing these attitudes he got an epiphany. He realized that Caleb felt enslaved to his trash job and therefore hated it. So Mitch shared with him that this was his portion of the Cowart kingdom that we have delegated to him. He needed to rule well. He talked about the goal and shared with him the verse that says, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matt 25:23) Caleb really saw that this was not slavery, but a test in responsibility. As a young man, this is a really cool thing. He is given charge over something and has an opportunity to prove himself. Now when the trash begins to pile up and we need to remind him of his stewardship, we say, “King Caleb…Rule well in your stewardship.”

This is such a different way of viewing our children. We see them as princes/princesses in training to be kings/queens. We talk to them a bit differently now that we see them in this light. There is more respect and honor in our tone. They also understand that they have a part that is vital in the “kingdom” and they desire to live up to the standards, so that they will get more (interesting/exciting) stewardship in the future (like baking our breakfast pastries or caring for the animals.) The attitudes are much more positive. They can “enter into the joy of their lord.”

Another development in line with this new paradigm of training came up when at one point Mitch told one of the children that if they did not do a good job with their stewardship, they would be “fired.” In other words, their stewardship over that area would be taken away. As Matthan (our 16 year old) heard this, he later told us that he didn’t think that this would work. He felt that no one wanted to do chores and therefore it would be a reward and not a punishment to give away the chore to someone else. As we were discussing this, we realized another very important thing. We talked about what constituted a satisfying life. Was it lots of money? Was it stuff? Was it being free to do nothing? Was it getting out of as much work as possible? Really none of these things were satisfying. What is satisfying is the confidence that one is ruling well in his stewardship. It is having lots of responsibility and knowing that one is being a faithful servant with one’s talents. I know that Mitch and I are not satisfied if we are not maintaining our stewardship up to the standards. Recently, we watched a video with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, the two wealthiest men in the world, and it was clear that all of their money wasn’t what they were passionate about, leading an expansive circle of influence, is what they were enthusiastic about. In our words, “ruling over lots of stewardship is what is satisfying.” Matthan could see the truth of this in his own life. He is not satisfied when he is not operating according to his potential.

As we raise our children, we see them now as God sees all of His heirs—as kings in training. And we desire to train them to rule well in the little things, so that as they mature, they will be entrusted with the more valuable things of the kingdom.

Mama Amy

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Responses

  1. Amy, thanks for your thoughts. I know I have a princess who would far rather take care of her kingdom, than just make her bed. I appreciate your insights very much! Have a good day!

  2. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Ufologist
    .

  3. Your blog is inspiring. I thank God for people like you who understand that this life is about glorifying Him in all we say and do as a family.


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