Nehemiah had surveyed the wall. He was prepared for the opposition. Now it was time to build. But Nehemiah did not do it alone. Each gate or section of the wall was built by a separate group or family. Each group worked at the same time so that the wall grew in record time. The movie, ‘Facing the Giants’ refers to this concept of sharing the work in such a beautiful way. Nehemiah never could have finished the work by himself, especially with opposition waiting to take him out. But with a huge list of people, each building a section, the job was not only manageable, but fast.
So, what can we learn from Nehemiah here?
Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Any job you are facing will be done faster and better with help. Do you have children? They are part of your family team, and need to contribute. Is it just you and your husband? If you have already shared your struggles with him, it should not be much of a leap to ask him to share the workload. My husband doesn’t do dishes or laundry, but he is more than willing to keep us in firewood, clear the driveway of snow and help with the cooking. Just ask, and you may be surprised what he is willing to do, once he knows there is a need. By the way, when you ask for help from others, be sure to refer to your written notes about what actually needs to be done. Hopefully, you have taken the time to survey your situation and write down what actually needs done. It is much easier to delegate specific jobs than to yell, “I need help!” Our cleaning game gives you a good example of how to break jobs up and delegate them in a fun way. There’s not really a wrong way to do this: chore charts, games, etc. The most effective method I have found is variety. We tend to change things up every 1-2 months.
Acknowledge your workers
My children are happy to work, but gratefulness and praise go a long way, especially when they end up with a job that they don’t really enjoy. Praise them when they do a great job. Offer gentle suggestions when they need to improve. Even Nehemiah listed the names of everyone who helped to give them credit for their work.
Don’t underestimate your workers.
Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters. vs. 12
It would have been easy to leave the girls out, simply because they were girls. It is easy to underestimate our children, go easy on our daughters, and leave out our toddlers completely. We are raising adults, not children, and we want to prepare them for whatever their future life requires of them.
Toddlers can put away silverware, switch laundry, pick things up, and even help carry a piece of firewood. A toddler tends to have an eager servant’s heart and should be provided with plenty of opportunity to exercise it.
It is tempting to pamper our girls just a bit and only require domestic duties of them. But throughout Scripture, women have been called upon to do some pretty tough jobs. Even the Proverbs 31 woman strengthens her arms. Our daughters help with firewood, carry feed sacks, catch sheep and chickens, and hold their own with their brothers in backyard skirmishes. This is balanced by their beautiful long hair, skirts, and an uncanny ability to prepare great food. We hope this will prepare them to take on any challenge that comes their way. Femininity and strength are completely compatible. On the flip side, our boys are expected to help with kitchen jobs, sweep a floor properly, make a nice bed, etc.
All this to say, don’t be afraid to challenge your family team a bit. You will gain a wonderful team that will help you break down any job and get it done in record time. They will benefit from your gentle guidance as they acquire important life skills.
Get your team together and go build that wall!
Many hands make light work.