Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Monday, July 11, 2005

Work ethic, to the extreme?

Do New Englanders value work ethic too much? Is that possible? I believe it is and I believe they do. This is a society where an adulterous spouse is more acceptable than a lazy spouse. It's true. Even I would prefer an adulterous spouse to a lazy one. But that is not what the Bible teaches.

Consider drunk driving - a scorned sin. But falling asleep at the wheel - that's an understandable mistake around here. It should not be. In fact, sleep in general is close to sinful. If you get a full nights sleep, you better not admit it, around here.

When I first hung out with my husband's family I didn't know what to make of the way they spent their time. They would just sit in the livingroom for hours and hours. Sometimes watching TV, sometimes singing Karaoke, sometimes just talking, often cooking and eating. It baffled me. It seemed like such a waste of time... but wait... What was the point of life anyway? It is OK to spend time in fellowship with your loved ones, right?

One way I have struggled myself is allowing myself to watch a whole movie at home. Maybe it's just a mom thing. But I'll usually get up throughout the movie to do things around the house. I can't let myself relax through it.

In the Bible, Jesus rebuked Martha for her busyness and instructed her to be more like Mary who took the time to be in his presence. That is the lesson all New Englanders should take to heart.


  • At 2:07 PM, Blogger Ben Meyer said…

    The comment on watching movies are interesting. I am the oposite. I hate watching part of a movie. If I am going to sit and watch a movie I am going to watch all of it. I really hate when half hour into a film that is on TV I happen to switch to it and start getting sucked into watching it. I force myself to turn it off.

  • At 8:10 AM, Blogger Bruce said…

    My family has both Scot and Scandinavian heritages. Both the Scots and the Scandinavians have a well-deserved reputation for tightness with money and tightness with time. In both cases it follows quite naturally from a Protestant (Scot= Presbyterian, Scandinavian =Lutheran) zeal for the Word of God to (actually) *work* six days, and to *not work* on the seventh. Emphasis on both parts. Plus, both Scot and Scandies went through poverty. The Word of God teaches us that when we are poor, the way out is through God blessing our hard work. I.e., God commands work, God will help us. "The more I pray, the more coincidences happen; the harder I work, the luckier I get."

    New Englanders were first Puritans, with the best of family life and hard work, supported by faith. Then they went from Puritan to Yankee. That is, OK God, I've got it down now, I don't need you anymore. I'll just work real hard and everything will be cool. That's exchanging the true God for the Golden Calf, the icon of work-as-god.

    As you know from friends who are strong sabbatarians (sabbath- keepers), family life and sociability go hand in hand with a disciplined life of hard work. Inside those bounds (worship, work and rest) is room for variety, lots of variety. And of course, God honors those who follow his principles as far as they go. Rain on the just and unjust, you know.


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