Taking Time for Our Kids

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” 

2 Corinthians 5:17

The first step to good parenting is taking the time to spend with our kids. Some time ago, a Cornell University study revealed that the average American father spends 37.7 seconds a day alone with his children. “Dad, can you give me a minute?” Thirty-seven and seven-tenths seconds don’t even make up a minute. Many of us need to reassess the amount of time we spend with our children, our spouses and even our own parents. We’re talking about the quality of our time. This doesn’t mean sitting in the same room virtually ignoring everything that is going on around us. Like one comedian once said, “My Dad believed in meditation. He used to always say to me, “Sit down and shut up.” One of the greatest preachers and pastor was Dwight L. Moody. He was a man of uncompromising principle, but he was also a great dad. His son Willie reported that it was not unusual for Dwight L. Moody to come to one of his children lying in bed late at night and say something like this, “Are you awake? I can’t go to sleep till I talk to you. I’m sorry I lost my temper.” As a teenager, Willie wrote this tribute to his famous father: “Other kids tell me they can’t go to their dads and just talk and hope to be understood; they say they can’t because their dads are ‘always right’ and they’re ‘always wrong’. They can’t talk to their dads the way I can talk to you. I could always talk to you. You always understood. There was nothing I couldn’t tell you.” Of course, Willie is describing here a father who has more than mere time. He also has tenderness and a willingness to admit when he’s made a mistake. But simply taking time is the first step along the journey to successful parenting. 

Loving Father, you have given us all only 24 hours a day, no more, no less. Help us to prioritize our time so that we intentionally make the precious time we spend with our children really count in long lasting and meaningful ways. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Questions for Reflection

  1. Time is a precious commodity. We can always make more money. However, we can never make more time. This is particularly true when it comes to our children. How wisely have we allocated our time spent with our children in balancing all our daily responsibilities? 
  2. Using time wisely begins with setting priorities. We always seem to find the time for the things we consider important. How important is it for us to spend time with our children? Is this reflected in our time priorities?
  3. How do you think your children would describe you in terms of the amount and quality of time you spend with them?
  4. The New Testament uses two different words for the word time. The word “chronos” refers to chronological time, that is time as measured by calendars and clocks. The other word used in the New Testament for time is the word “kairos” which means qualitative time, time as opportunity; time that is meaningful and purposeful. Paul uses this word in Ephesians 5:16 when he writes, “Making the most of every opportunity or time (kairos), because the days are evil.” (NIV). Are we making the most of every opportunity to share meaningful and purposeful time with our children?