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.
Know someone else who is challenged by life? Pass this along.