Great Dads make time for their children
Some of the best parenting advice for new parents is to realise the difference between “Having Time” and “Making Time”. We all have the same amount of time: twenty-four hours, one thousand four hundred and forty minutes, or eighty-six thousand four hundred seconds each day depending on how you want to look at it. This element of the equation is constant and cannot be changed, but what can be changed is how we allocate the time we have. Once a day is gone it can never be reclaimed, reused or recycled, it is now in our past. In the light of this reality how incredibly important it is to make the most of every day given to us in life.
Most men have very busy lives, it seems that being busy is a standard aspect of life on earth as we rush around doing the things that need to get done. I have rarely met a man who says he has too much free time on his hands and not enough to do, especially those men who have a ‘family’. Whether it is working at our career, spending time with our wife and children, exercising for our health or just socialising with friends, it often seems that each day’s schedule is already full before we even get there!
It is therefore vital as a man that we are pro-active and learn to effectively prioritise our lives. One of the most useful things a man can do is to spend some quality time deciding what is really important to him as an individual, and then establishing clear priorities in his heart and mind. Once these priorities are established he must diligently defend them and not allow the ‘urgent’ aspects of business to overcome the ‘important’ aspects of life.
I would recommend taking time to list every area of your life that takes up your time. It may start with merely a group of words all mixed up like: Work, Wife, Gym, Children, Soccer, Social Life, Parents, House Renovation, Shopping, Holidays, Church Life etc. Then as we progress through our list we begin to decide those areas that mean the most to you in life. By searching our own heart, we begin defining what is most important to us and what is least important, and eventually all those jumbled words will start to become clear in the order of their significance or value to us as an individual.
It may end up looking something like this:
· My relationship with God
· My relationship with my family (Wife and Children)
· My career
· My relationship with my parents/siblings
· My sport/health/gym
· My relationship with my friends
· House Renovations
· Etc, Etc
Only you can decide those things that you want to be your top priorities in life, but one thing I would say is that I have NEVER ministered to a man on his deathbed that wished he’d spent more time at work/making money. Without fail every person I ever ministered to realised that everything besides those you love fades into insignificance at the conclusion of your life. It is my hope that as men and fathers we can grasp this reality at an early age.
Making time for our children
When we go to the effort of spending quality time with our children we are saying to them that they are important to you. It means that at that particular moment they are actually the most important thing in your life. This speaks volumes to young children who are constantly looking for validation and acceptance and goes a long way toward strengthening their self-image.
‘Great Dads’ purposely position their family relationships within the very highest places of their priority list. When our children are truly our priority we do not allow other seemingly ‘urgent’ things to take their place in our life, and when other things attempt to intrude upon that relationship we defend against them earnestly. A father who says he wants to spend time with his children but consistently allows the ‘urgent’ things of life to intrude into that time, may well reach the end of his life alone and abandoned by the children who felt abandoned by him.
If we want to enjoy the benefits of a loving and caring family, we as fathers must invest our time and energy initially so that we can receive those abundant returns later. Being a ‘Great Dad’ will take a huge level of time and effort from us as fathers, but we will receive back far more than we ever give. It is the heart felt commitment to being a ‘Great Dad’ that will open up a deep and wonderful relationship with our children that will last a lifetime.
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