Washing Day by Thomas Liddall Armitage

Chores As Mankind’s First Duty

Children often see weekly chores as nothing more than a mundane checklist that must
be completed in order to get back to enjoying life. These jobs are merely a means to the
end that is playtime.

Once the room is picked up, or the floors vacuumed, or the dishes
cleaned and put away, then the child is free to play.

However, as children grow up, they tend to see the value in these unexciting tasks.

Children often dislike meetings, chores, and social obligations. When these children
grow into young adults, and must suffer the consequences for not fulfilling their duties,
they then understand the importance of the daily routine. Most people move from seeing
chores as merely obstacles to seeing chores at least as means to the end of enjoying
life well.

Perhaps, though, this view ought to mature further into believing that this daily creation
of order is part of the goodness of life, and not just an obstacle from or a means to it.

After God created man, we learn,

God blessed them. And God said to them,
‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish
of the sea and the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the

-Genesis 1:28

The world was good as God created it, but man’s first duty is to reflect God’s
creation and sub-create for himself. As God created the man and the world, so man was
supposed to fill and subdue the world.

Whenever we clean the house, organize a party, or establish a business, we are fulfilling our first duty as man. These actions are of course means to an end because we get benefits from them, but they are also a good unto themselves.

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