Read these few lyrics from the song “Parent Me” by Christian artist Json.
I know you're in Church, I see your love for God
You give me everything I need, but I really need your time
Your godly life and love for people amazes me
But tell me should the Church take my mom and my dad away from me?
I say this simply, you know a lot spiritually
Involved in ministry, but often, you don't remember me
You teach the youth and show them how to model and live
But at home you've never shown me what the Gospel is
How can you share with those seem direly hopeless?
Inside I cry, cause we've never cracked the Bible open
You study thoroughly, but don't get it apparently!
I'm a babe in the faith, I need my parents to parent me!
One of the biggest lies a parent can believe is that old adage of quality time over quantity. However, that is simply a way for those who aren’t giving enough of their time to their family to feel better about the time they do spend. When it comes to being a parent, your children need time. Clearly there is a need for quality, but not just big events. Children often simply long for their parents to be around, to give them time.
Quality time is not just the big events, special dates, expensive gifts, or extravagant outings. Quality time is talking, listening, and understanding the lives of your children. Too often there are many fathers who are physically present but who aren’t really there. They have checked out and don’t really know what going on in their own home. Quality time is asking good questions and sharing authentically. It’s putting down the smartphone or remote control and getting down on the floor with your child.
Here are 8 ways to begin to get on track with parenting and time:
Learn to say no. A great pastor, preacher, leader, and seminary president once said no to an invitation to the White House because of a schedule conflict with a son’s sports game. Learn to say no. You may have to speak, travel, or meet less, but your family will benefit.
Humble yourself. It takes humility to admit your faults and failures. It takes guts to ask for forgiveness and begin to make changes that may initially go against some of your justifications for poor time management.
Ask the tough questions. Ask your kids tough questions….about you. Ask them how you’re doing as a dad and where you can improve. Ask your wife, too. Make sure to give them the space and freedom to answer honestly without repercussions.
Clear your schedule. Mark your calendar with events and schedule time where you don’t work. Make sure you take vacations. Pencil in the time, if that’s what it takes. Then, turn off your phone and computer and make good on your scheduling.
Prioritize your priorities. Get back to the basics of your priorities. Write down your priorities and put them in a place you regularly see them until they are second nature. God, Family, then everything else.
Make your priorities clear. Make it clear to those to whom you minister what your priorities are. Let them know up front that you will sometimes say no or not answer your phone right away. This communication is not only a good leadership skill, but will also lead others to have better priorities.
Be creative. Get creative with your time. Learn to multitask. Involve your kids in your ministry. Come up with fun family times and make your home a fun place to live.
Realize the necessity. Recognize that you are failing in ministry if you are failing your family. Not only is your family the priority, but your ministry is effected by what goes on in your home. When things are right at home it’s good for your own spiritual and mental health. Furthermore, you can’t lead others if you aren’t first leading your family.