Three on Responsibility




Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

Proverbs 10:4

Hands that don't want to work make you poor. But hands that work hard bring wealth to you.


We live in a no-fault culture. It's not my fault that my car hit yours-it's the car manufacturer's. It's not my fault I burned myself with hot coffee-it's the restaurant that gave me the coffee. It's not my fault that I was driving drunk-it's the fault of the people who gave me the drink. It's not my fault my homework didn't get done-it's the fault of the school for giving me too much to do.

And if I can't blame someone else, then it's not my job. It's not my job to pick up litter. It's not my job to take out the garbage. It's not my job to clean up the dishes. And, if neither of those excuses work, I can always fall back on "it's not my gift." How can I be expected to do something if I don't have the gift or talent to do it?

Children can learn from a very young age to take responsibility for their actions by saying "I'm sorry," by picking up their toys, and by doing the things that they are able to contribute to the family economy. If they can only reach the bottom drawers in the kitchen, put their cups in those drawers so they can get them out for you, and put them away. If you have a broom with a short handle, they can start sweeping the floor after meals. When they get a little older they can help clear the table, take out the garbage, and make their own beds in the morning. All these things teach personal responsibility and train them for bigger opportunities for work and service that will come their way. That way they won't fall into the bad habits of "it's not my fault," or "it's not my job," or "it's not my gift." Oh, and maybe teaching them will remind us, too, that God has given us work to do to bring His love and peace to our broken, needy world.


How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What does each person called to testify tell the judge?
A. It's not my fault, it’s not my job, it’s not my gift.

Q. What does Granny place in her yard to teach the kids a lesson about “it’s not my job”?
A. A rock.

Q. Who moves the rock?
A. Scooter.

Q. What does he find under the rock?
A. A reward.

Q. Who does Grandpa assign to care for his garden while he is gone?
A. Lucille takes care of the strawberries; Morrie gets the corn; and Liz the pumpkin patch.

Q. Who gets a reward when Grandpa gets back and why?
A. Lucille and Morrie, because they took care of their gardens and they did well.


This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.


What do you think it means to be responsible? Why is it important?


To be responsible means to do what you say you will do and not to rely on others to do what you can do for yourself. It means to be reliable, dependable, trustworthy. That's what God is like, isn't it? And as members of God's family we want to be like God. That way we are the kind of people God calls us to be and we give others an accurate picture of what God is like. (See 2 Samuel 7:28, Psalm 19:7, 111:7, 119:86.)


Is there something that you need to do to be more responsible? Start doing it today!
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