If I Have to Fold One More Piece of Laundry…


Our children imitate what they see. When we complete our responsibilities without complaining and with a happy heart, they will know how to do the same.

"Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault.’" Philippians 2:14-15a (NIV)

Dear Mom,
I refuse to accept the fact that I have to do my responsibilities by myself. Love, Blaire

My 6-year-old daughter wrote this letter to me in protest of her chores.

Her bold stance cracked me up, and the articulate manner in which she stated her case made me proud.

I went to her room to explain, that although I appreciated her initiative, she still needed to complete her chores … and with a good attitude.

Throughout Blaire’s young life, we taught her that her attitude was just as important as her responsibilities. Like most children, she still complained and argued.

Sometimes it would have been easier for me to do her chores rather than train her to adjust her attitude. But I knew that wasn’t the best approach. So I prayed and asked the Lord how I could teach my children not to complain and argue about their responsibilities. God gave me this answer: Lead by example.

One day, as the kids were watching a movie in the living room, I dragged in another basket of laundry and plopped it on the couch.

As I folded, I started to murmur under my breath, "If I have to fold one more piece of laundry …" before I stopped myself. Looking back, I realized I often complained while completing my responsibilities.

It was time I acknowledged to myself that I’d been setting the wrong example.

Philippians 2:14-15a says, "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault.’"

When we complete our responsibilities without complaining and with a happy heart, our children will know how to do the same.

Children imitate what they see. At that time in my life the Lord was refining and pruning my attitude, and one area that needed care was how I approached my chores. My heart harbored negativity toward caring for my household tasks. This directly impacted my children’s behavior and dispositions. I determined to allow God to change my heart so I’d be a better example for my kids.

I decided to:

  • Renew my heart each morning. (Psalm 90:14)
    I quickly realized how different my attitude was when I started each day with prayer.
  • Repent of the sin in my heart daily. (Psalm 51:10)
    I had to confess my wrong attitudes every day. Otherwise, my heart became heavy when I carried them from day to day. 
  • Rend my heart. (Joel 2:12-13)
    What I put in my heart definitely came out. There were changes I had to make about what I put in my heart and mind. This meant adjusting what I heard and saw to keep a positive attitude.
  • Rest my heart when necessary. (Psalm 127:2)
    Rest needed to be more of a priority. It was hard with children and the amount of work I had to do, but I had to set a bedtime and stick to it even if the laundry wasn’t put away.

Whatever duties are yours to finish today, set your heart to do them without complaining. You’ll bless the Lord and inspire those around you.

Lord, thank You for encouraging me today with Your Word. I pray Your spirit will prompt me to respond to my responsibilities in a way that is pleasing to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." (ESV)

Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow: A Psalms Bible Study by Wendy Pope is available in e-book and soft cover.

Visit Wendy’s blog for more encouragement about cultivating a happy heart.

Ask the people around you to point out any time you complain. Sometimes we don’t notice it in ourselves, but others do.

Look for the blessing in your responsibility. For example, if it’s folding laundry, thank the Lord for clean clothes. If it’s washing dishes, praise Him for running water. Gratitude kicks grumpiness out of the heart.

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