I just don’t have time!” How many times have you uttered this sentence in the past week, month, year? Sometimes it is a sigh, other times a cry. But sometimes, it’s just a whine – and as far as I’m concerned, the faith life of our children is a “No Whine Zone.”
I am writing this article from the viewpoint of a mom of a very active, very normal 9-year-old boy who attends Christian school, and who is also taken to church and Sunday school every week. While I’m not intending to come across as overly harsh, I am advocating a revolution – a grassroots revolution of parents who simply are not going to leave the fate of their children’s eternal souls to chance – to begin spending 15 minutes a day with your child (the time it takes to stand in line at Starbuck’s for a latte, or to floss your teeth, or to watch half of a sitcom on TV), sharing highs and lows, praying together, reading God’s Word, or just laughing together.
For many of us parents, daily devotional time with our kids really is a revolutionary idea. We are all so very “busy,” aren’t we? – but somehow, we find time to chauffeur kids to soccer practice and ballet lessons, to school and to friends’ homes, not to mention dealing with our own jobs and activities. What if one day everyone at your child’s school said “I just don’t have time to take my child to school any more.”? Would they just not go? Now, I know this is an overly dramatic example, but I use it to make the point that we always find time for those things that are important to us. Isn’t your child’s spiritual life important enough to spend 15 minutes a day on it?
One of the key concepts at Faith Inkubators is sharing faith every night in every home. I can speak from personal experience on how much of a difference just 15 minutes a day with Mom, Dad or both parents can make in a child’s life. So, be bold – start the revolution in your own home this year. Turn off the TV, the iPod, and the PC. Sit down together, open the Bible, and take the plunge. Take time to pray together; look into your kids’ eyes and listen to the heart cries they need to share with you. It may feel a little awkward at first, as everyone gets used to the idea and forms a new habit. But trust me – once you get started, the kids will find you and ask to have their daily time with you. Try it – it works. Do it as if their (eternal) lives depend on it.
Thanks Vanessa for these words of wisdom from a mother whose youngest just turned 21 yesterday. Time goes by all too quickly to not get your priorities straight!
Debbie Streicher is National Director of Children and Family Ministry. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.