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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why Both Boys and Girls Need Life Skills and Paying Jobs

Many people believe that girls should be taught to cook, sew, keep house, care for children, decorate, garden, and do other life skills under the “homemaking label.” I couldn’t agree more. I would go one step farther. I think boys should have these skills, too.

Both boys and girls should be taught to clean up, cook, wash clothes, and keep their rooms decent, making their beds daily. I believe they should watch their parents perform projects around the home, and they should learn how to cut the grass, do weeding, drill holes in walls, and to do basic car maintenance.

Let’s be practical. We don’t know how long our son or daughter will need to be self-sufficient. It might be for the rest of his life.

When our son was six years old, he and his five-year-old buddy were riding in the back seat of our car. The five-year-old asked our son if he wanted to get married someday. Our son said “no.” Then, the five-year-old said, “then who would make your breakfast?" Our son decided there and then he’d learn to cook.

Even if your son marries young, wouldn’t his wife be thankful that he makes his bed, hangs up his clothes, washes dishes, and cooks or grills from time to time? Even if your daughter marries young, wouldn’t it be nice if she knew how to cut the grass on a weekend when her husband isn’t able to or change a flat tire, if necessary?

Here’s where I might differ with others. (Now, it’s okay if you don’t agree with me. I’m expressing my personal opinion.) I believe that a young men and young women should be prepared to support themselves financially. He should have whatever preparation is necessary to do a job that actually pays him enough to live on.

These are my reasons:
  • You don’t know what the future holds. For example: a young lady can’t be sure her Prince Charming will appear—and marry her—at any definite point in her life. She cannot be sure, even if she marries young, that her husband will never have any debilitating or life-changing sickness or accident. She cannot be sure he will live all of her lifetime. She cannot be sure her husband will always be mentally or physically able to provide for her and their children. 
  • You don’t know if you will marry. You may be single for a while, or forever. (By the way, it is perfectly okay to be single. The Bible says so in 1 Corinthians 7:8, 32, 34.)
  • If you do marry, your husband’s salary might not pay enough to support your family. In many places, it’s almost impossible to buy a house—even a modest one—have two cars, and pay for health care on one salary, even if the job is a good one. In that case, which is very common these days, it is helpful for the lady of the house to have an income, even if working from home or part-time. There’s nothing wrong with helping out.
  • Some people believe that a woman should not be paid for her work—only a man. I disagree. (See Proverbs 31:10-31. The Virtuous Woman excels them all, and she worked several jobs outside her home and was paid for them. God highly praises her.)
  • A young adult should become independent and not continue to live under his parents’ roof forever. (There are exceptions to this, of course, especially when aging or disabled parents need care or the child himself has special needs. I’m talking about a general rule.) A young adult should become independent, forming his own home and being financially independent. It’s sad to see so many “children” thirty-five years old still living jobless under their parents’ roofs. You see it happening a lot in Europe, and I’m afraid, in other places as well. Young adults need to do their best to be prepared to make a living, even in these dire financial times. (See my post “Encouraging Our Young People Toward Jobs,” here.)

We want our children to be able to live independently.

My husband and I did it.

When we married, we had absolutely nothing. (In fact, we took “and all my earthly goods I thee endow” out of our marriage vows, because it would have been such a joke.) My husband had a 1970 Volkswagen beetle he’d rebuilt, and we married on love and wedding gifts. My husband had a job, but I didn’t yet. We rented a modest apartment and started a lifetime of adventures together.

Do we want anything less for our children?

Of course not.

My son, hear the instruction of thy father,
and forsake not the law of thy mother:
For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head,
and chains about thy neck.
(Proverbs 1:8-9)


  1. Lou Ann, this is exceptional wise counsel. That story about your little son is priceless. Says it all, doesn't it? I know I ruined some of my children in their expectations about what mommy's do. (Since I have six, not all of them seem to have had exactly the same parenting experiences!) Young mothers, heed Lou Ann's advice. Thank you Lou Ann.

    1. What do mommy's do? Oh yes! This same little buddy once told me, "My mom is so LUCKY she has four children, because we can help her so much!" :o) Very cute, and very, very funny! Thanks for your comment and encouragement, Rose. God bless you! Praying for your illness.

  2. All I can say is, I agree!

    1. Thank you, Barbara. I really appreciate your vote. :o) God bless you!

  3. Me encanta, es muy instructivo.


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