I don't like to cook dinner. Walking into my kitchen at 5 or 5:30 every evening and putting together a meal every night doesn't appeal to me at all. I love to bake, and I love to make a really nice meal for a group of people, but the daily chore of putting together something that everyone in my house likes to eat every night is not my favorite chore.
Friday night I really didn't want to cook dinner. When my husband came home, he really didn't want to go out to eat. So, I made dinner. But I did it with a really poor attitude. Oh, I made a nice dinner -- chicken, potatoes and vegetables, but I grumbled about it in my head the whole time. And I didn't even pretend I was happy about it. Everyone in my family knew that mom was not happy about cooking dinner.
And, much to my regret, I didn't let it go after dinner either. I stewed the whole evening. The issue went from the fact that I didn't want to cook dinner to everything that I considered to be unjust in my life. I threw myself a little pity party -- ok, a big pity party. And I made my family miserable while I did it. My husband was afraid to open his mouth, so he went downstairs. The girls were trying to figure out what was wrong with mom, so they were afraid to say anything either.
We don't have a lot of nights where we don't have to take a child somewhere, so we usually try to make the most of the evenings at home that we do have. Yet, my attitude caused us to miss out on a fun, family evening on Friday night. In the span of five minutes, my attitude changed our evening from the possiblity of a fun, family night to a miserable, tension-filled evening.
Like it or not, a mom's attitude generally sets the tone for the household. It's a lot of responsibility, and it may not be fair. However, it's true. There's a saying that goes "If mom's not happy, ain't nobody happy," and I've found that to be so true in our household.
I know there are things that you have to do in your daily life that you really don't like to do. For you, it may not be cooking dinner. It might be surviving the car line at school or dealing with a demanding boss or even helping with homework. Whatever it is, keep in mind that your attitude toward that task directly affects your family, especially if your attitude spills over into how you treat your family.
What we need is a change in attitude toward those things that we dislike doing. Colossians 3:23 says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." If we view even those tasks that we dislike as tasks that we are doing for God, then it's a whole lot easier to change our attitude toward that task. It keeps our hearts and minds focused on God. If we cook dinner, clean the bathroom or change the dirty diaper with this verse in our hearts, we can do even the repetitive, menial jobs in our lives with purpose.
Memorize this verse this week, and the next time you have to do a job that you dislike, pull it out of your memory banks and use it to keep your attitude in check. That way, your attitude won't change the atmosphere in your home. When our hearts and minds are focused on the right things, even the tasks we hate become ways we can serve our families and God.