TIP 36. CHILDREN NEED TIME
If I could simplify all that is said on these pages, and condense much of what is written about the needs of children into only a few words, then one of those words would have to be 'time'. Children need time, and the time they need, should be quality time with their dad. Men should choose a parenting style that ensures that their spouse and children receive the time they need to ensure you all prosper as a family.
When we were young single men we could pretty much do what we wanted with our spare time, we could go to the football, hang with our mates or simply kick back and do absolutely nothing if we wanted to. A single man's life is full of spare time, but lacks the benefits that only a marriage can bring.
When we get married suddenly a lot of the spare time we had as a single man is now taken up with the great things that couples do. We receive the benefits of a married life, but at the expense of losing much of our spare time.
When we begin raising children our remaining spare time mostly disappears, as we begin to do all the great things that a family does. Now we receive the benefits of family life, but at the further expense of our spare time.
You may be wondering why I am making these simple statements, about the loss of spare time and its relationship with the benefits gained through marriage and raising children. It is because many men refuse to let their spare time be taken away by family pursuits, and insist on continuing life as if they were still a single man although they are a husband and a father.
These types of actions are a recipe for a failed marriage and a dysfunctional family, and can only realistically be coined by the word 'selfish'. Selfishness is perhaps one of the greatest challenges that we face as men and parents, and it can effectively destroy our fruitfulness in these roles.
Now I am not saying that a father can't still spend some time with his mates occasionally, or take in a football match etc., but if he does it all the time then his family will be missing out.
Families need time. For a marriage to be successful the couple need to take the time to work on their relationship. For a man to be successful as a father he needs to spend time with his children, loving them, caring for them, teaching them, enjoying them.
It is not a choice between quality and quantity times, both are required. If you don't put in the quantity time you may never find the quality time you are trying to achieve. Ask your children how much time they need from you as their father, you may be surprised at the answer.
Dads' Call To Action:
Spend quantity and quality time with your family and you will reap the benefits of family life.
(Ecclesiastes 3 v 1)
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven: