Thursday, July 18, 2013

Balancing Family Time by Martin Wiles

According to a recent Pew Research poll, moms still spend more time with their kids than dads, but both are now spending more time with their children than they did a generation ago. Still, 23% of mothers proclaim they spend too little time with their children, and 46% of fathers say they do. Only half of dads feel they’re spending the right amount of time with their children whereas 68% of moms say they do. Would some parents take a pay cut to spend more time with their children? Thirty percent of fathers say yes. (“Not enough family time?” Facts & Trends Summer 2013: 8. Print.)

God gave clear instructions about a parent’s responsibility to spend quality time with their children—which included enough time to share Biblical concepts. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NLT).

My children are grown and gone, so I’m in the “been there done that” category, but I still remember the challenge I faced balancing work, hobbies, and family time. While work was the greatest thief of family time, the kid’s activities threatened it too…especially sports. I quickly discovered it was possible to be physically present with my children without being mentally and spiritually present.

The most honorable thing a parent can do for their children is to pass them a godly heritage. This entails teaching them to love and serve God with all their being. Anything that interferes with that…even if it’s a “good” thing, should be re-prioritized or eliminated. And a parent must sometimes make this decision for the child whether they understand it or not.

Depending on God’s wisdom is a must for balancing family time in our busy world. Don’t let the urgent displace the important. Make spiritual time together a priority.

Prayer: Remind us, Father, of the responsibilities You’ve given us as parents. May we take seriously the mandate to teach our children Your ways.
Martin N Michelle
Know someone else who is challenged by life? Pass this along.