January. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, it’s summer – but for many of us, we’re in the middle of winter. A fresh snowfall can add some excitement but many days are simply cold and cloudy.
Which means we often hear I’m bored from the kids in our lives – whether that’s at home or in ministry. (And maybe some of us adults feel kind of bored, too.)
(Sidenote: To me there’s a difference between a child who stares out of the window “just thinking” … and a child who is whining and complaining about being bored. Solitary moments spent tossing a ball against the garage or knocking ice cycles off the gutter can lead to creative and imaginative ideas. Grumbling about being bored for the 37th time in an hour is a different story.)
So, here are seven verses that can help us help our kids change their attitudes during the boring moments.
Proverbs 19:15 – Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. (Kids don’t often have to work for food, but teaching kids early to make good use of their time is a trait that can last through adulthood. Challenge them to do something useful – playing a game, helping a neighbor, drawing a picture for grandma … or maybe starting a service project to collect food, money, or clothes for a ministry.)
Proverbs 22:29 –Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings. He will not stand before obscure men. (What talent does your child have? What can you do to encourage it? Sometimes the answer is easy – music lessons, a sports team, art projects … but how about that child whose talent is less obvious? A child who collects model cars and can tell you everything about motors and engines, a child who juggles, a child who is a math whiz. My dad was counseling a family whose middle child felt very left out between her talented siblings. The one thing she enjoyed doing was jumping rope. My dad challenged her to become the best rope jumper around. She took the challenge and ended up on a national TV program showing what she could do … and being able to give her testimony at the same time.)
Matthew 5:2 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (The best way to get out of a poor-me mood is to do something for someone else.)
Ephesians 5:15 – Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, (Is an attitude adjustment needed?)
Philippians 2:14-16 – Do all things without grumbling or disputing,that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Again – an attitude adjustment so we can be like shining lights in a dark world.)
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. (Do everything to the best of your ability, including making good use of your time.)
1 Peter 4:10 – As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (Again, serving others always affects our own attitude for the better.)
In researching verses about boredom I came across an interesting concept someone had written – life is not an adventure movie. Monotonous tasks are part of our every day life. With many kids being so lost in social media, video games, YouTube, etc., maybe the most important truth we can teach them is found in Psalm 46:10: Be still, and know that I am God.