A pastor who volunteered at a boys' correctional center one summer was interested in why the boys chose the course they did. They had already gone through the system and had been in all sorts of trouble. This pastor asked them if they could help him draw up a code for parents that zeroed in on specific areas where the parents had failed. The boys came up with the following 10 principles:
Do you know what those kids are saying? They are essentially telling parents to do what the Bible says. Every one of these principles is biblically based. They are saying, "Would you please do what God told you to, and be hands-on, involved parents in our lives?"
But this takes time and lots of it. Your kids need your involvement and they need your time.
Even the secular culture is beginning to see the myth of "quality time" as a substitute for quantity time. A team of researchers wanted to find out how much time middle-class fathers spent playing and interacting with their small children. They asked a group of fathers to estimate the time they spent with their one-year-old children each day. The fathers said they spent an average of 15 to 20 minutes during a 24-hour period.
The researchers weren't convinced, so they attached little microphones to the shirts of the small children for the purpose of recording actual parental verbalization. They discovered that the average amount of time these middle-class fathers spent with their small children was 37 seconds a day. Direct interaction with the child was limited to 2.7 encounters daily, which lasted 10 to 15 seconds each. These fathers are not taking time for their children.
Not long ago, some friends of mine lost their daughter in a tragic car accident. But unlike the fathers in this study, they had been treasuring every moment they spent with their little girl. I am so glad these parents took time for their child on that final day. The last words my friend spoke to his daughter were, "I love you." Her final words were, "I love you more." That day, she went from the presence of her loving father on earth into the presence of her loving Father in heaven.
My point is, these parents did it right. So value and treasure each moment. Take time for your kids. You will be glad you did.
You can receive a copy of I Can Only Imagine. Bart Millard of MercyMe lived a troubled childhood because of an abusive father. But by the power of the gospel, Bart says, “God transformed the monster I hated into the man I wanted to become.” Read the story behind how Bart’s father became a new creation in Christ and the influence it had on the creation of the popular song “I Can Only Imagine.” Get a copy of this compelling memoir in thanks for your generous donation to Harvest Ministries today.