When Training Draws Us Into Relationship

Yuck. Another pair of clean socks tossed into the laundry room.

“Kaden!” “Come here, buddy. It’s okay if you spill the dog’s water, but you still need to clean it up.”

Kaden can catch a football for the winning score in a football game, but balancing water in a dog bowl from the sink to the dog mat five feet away seems to be too much to handle.

The problem is that he is starting to think so too.

I go back and forth on this one. Should I delegate this task to Kaden’s competent, older brother? I don’t like seeing Kaden’s confidence dwindle.

Should I give him chores that I already know he can do well? 

Should I stretch him only in the areas of his strengths?

My thoughts seem loud, but I can’t ignore two words God continues to whisper to me.

Train him.

I am finding that as I train Kaden in how to position his thumbs around the dog bowl, flex his elbows, and bend at the knees instead of the waist, he responds positively because he enjoys our relationship. He enjoys my attention and thrives on my belief in him.

The spilled water has lost its control over Kaden’s confidence because I have separated his performance from who he is and who he belongs to.

“Kaden, you will get this. Even if you spill some, it is an easy cleanup. I can’t wait to see how God uses your good attitude and big heart as you get older and have even bigger chores. Good job, buddy.”


So often we want to step into a task and master it right away. We want our muscle memory to react with excellence in brand new situations and our confidence suffers when our performance lags.

I see two things wrong with this thinking.

1- Our confidence does not flow from our performance for God but from God Himself.

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.

2 Samuel 22:33

2- God is not looking for us to master our skill-sets but for us to be servants willing to be trained by the Master.

He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

2 Samuel 22:35

God is doing a good work in you. He will help you fight the battles you need to fight and rest when you need to rest. He will train your hands to carry out the tasks created in advance for you to accomplish.

You may spill some water on your first few attempts, but even the process of cleaning your mess up will not be wasted. The act of getting on your knees and wiping away a mess to reveal a clean slate will become a testimony God will use to love others back to Him.

The struggle between what we lack and what God is calling us to do is all part of His plan. It helps us depend on Him and creates a relationship that fills our every need and brings God glory.

Embrace your training because God is actively loving you and making you more like Him.

Embrace your responsibility to train those in your care. Be patient with yourself and with others. Develop life-giving and encouraging relationships.

We are all works in progress and we are in this training together.

 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6


Linking up with Suzie for #livefree Thursday http://tsuzanneeller.com/2015/04/02/no-more-excuses/



  1. Meg Delo

    Hi Kasey ~ This makes me think of when our son Jay was a little boy (sandwiched in between 2 sisters), and I could say to him, “I’ll bet you’re strong enough to carry in all these groceries by yourself”, and it worked SO much better than just asking him if he would help me carry the groceries in! He was anxious to get out to play and had NO interest in the groceries…until the challenge came, and then he wanted me to SEE how strong he was! ….and just for the record, tell Kaden that I’m 70 and STILL can’t always get the dog’s bowl to the right place without a bit of spillage!

  2. Ashley

    I love this! I so needed to be reminded of this with my children and in my own life as well! Thanks for sharing!

  3. So good! I too struggle with stretching my boy’s responsibilities without draining their confidence. This is such a great illustration! So glad I found you from Suzie’s #life free Thursday!

  4. Hi Kasey! Visiting from Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday today, and I really enjoyed this post! I love what you said about the process of cleaning up our messes being used for God’s glory; I take great comfort in knowing we serve a God who is able to work all things–even our mistakes–for good in His kingdom. Thanks for sharing this illustration!

  5. kristine

    Hi Kasey! Yes, I remember sometimes letting my frustrations show as I gave my son chores. My impatience won over now and then, I’m ashamed to say. But just as we have to show patience, as you did with your sweet boy, God is always patient with us! Blessings:)

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