The joy of work...

Error message

At the top of Google news just now is the headline, "Long-term Unemployment Benefit Expires for 1 Million."

Good. What a horrible existence to be paid not to work.

No one should benefit from unemployment. The fact such a headline can top the Google news page is an indication our nation is deep into her dotage. We're talking "long-term unemployment" here, good buddies. Long, long periods of time when men get paid not to work.

There are so many commands of Scripture we are ashamed of today. For instance:

For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living. (2Thessalonians 3:10-12)

"But the men and women getting unemployment benefits want to work; they just can't find a job," you say?

Right now there are 1.3 million men and women you and I have been paying for 26 weeks for not working, and in the next couple of months...

another 1.9 million will complete 26 weeks of us paying them for not working. This is not benevolence. It incentivizes slothfulness and it is destructive of the souls of men. A mother who yields to her child's screaming fits for more candy, allowing her precious one to live on candy throughout childhood, is not a loving mother. She's a child-abuser.

The nation that pays men for being unemployed is even worse.

Am I saying I'm against all unemployment?

Sure. Instead of the government being our Lord-Provider, how about teaching the citizens of these United States the principle of saving for a rainy day? Why should the government force the employers to save for their employees' rainy days, serving as national banker for the scheme, when we could teach men to save themselves? Think of how much dignity men would have if they felt the pressure to work, and did so.

Sell on eBay (which my dear wife does). Shovel manure. Shampoo carpets. Milk goats (fifty a day, by hand). Cut grass. Drive truck. Wash windows. Pack books. Paint houses. Strip and wax floors. Pick apples. Clean boilers and heating ducts. Repair railroad cars. Bale hay. Clean motel bathrooms. As Merle Haggard sang, "I've done it all" — and I only listed the jobs I enjoyed.

Yup, there is deep satisfaction in cleaning horse stalls and washing bathrooms. Want me to explain?

You know who makes me feel ill? The man who's trying to get on disability.

You know who gives me joy and makes me proud? The man who takes a job at McDonalds, is an orderly in a nursing home, or delivers pizza. We have a number of men like that in Clearnote Church, Bloomington, and I'm so very proud of them! I tell them all the time.

This morning, one of our elders stopped by who is my hero for scrabbling his provision for his wife, children, and the church any way he can, any time he can. Pizzas. Roofing. Cars. A truck. A lab.

And cheerful — always, always cheerful. What cheer!

Listen, it's a kindness to men to take away their food when they don't work. So start right now, Mom and Dad; teach your children to work from the earliest age, and make sure they love it. Commend them on their work and give them more. Take away their iPads and smartphones for the day and send them outside to chop wood. Inside to clean toilets. To church to mop floors. To the soup kitchen to cook. To Goodwill to help you shop for eBay products, and you give them their own eBay turf, setting aside products they "own" that you won't infringe on.

Your children should have the privilege of learning what our nation is cruel enough to deny: that work was God's gift to man in the Garden of Eden prior to the Fall; that work will be a gift of God to man in Heaven; and that work is a blessing to every one of us today. Sure, your children should have some time to read and play, but after the chores are done.

My family had guests for dinner all the time, and I always cleaned up the kitchen. You know one of the things I'm most thankful for in my life? That my dear sister, Deborah, taught me to clean up the kitchen before she left for college, and that I had the job each evening and every Sunday dinner for years after she left.

Do your chillluns have the privilege of setting the table? Clearing the table? Cleaning up the kitchen? Emptying the dishwasher? Scrubbing the pots and pans? Cleaning the bathrooms?

My mother made me do these and many other things, and how thankful I am she taught me to love work.

So, do your children love to work? Do they know how to change the oil on your car? To trim the grass? To split wood? To build a fire? To cook rice? To make granola? To sew a baby quilt?

Next to these glorious things a classical education is so very small.

Imagine Joseph and Mary sending their Son off to Gamaliel so he could be something more than a carpenter.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!