As I sit here after putting my children down for bed, I started thinking about the last 3 hours. In the last three hours I bathed the kids, took them to Target, and put them down for bed. Normally, that might stress me out a bit. However, tonight was different. My wife and I were suppose to meet up with some friends who are in town that we haven't seen in a couple of years. Our baby sitter canceled, and my wife went to meet them (it was her friends, so I opted to stay at home). She was worried about me because she would be gone and I would have Viv and Jo for a few hours. Worried not because I can't take care of them, but because it was Friday and I would be playing Dad instead of relaxing with friends. Truth be told, I got the better deal, and I think she knows that :) - Anywhoo, tonight wasn't about us spending time with old friends, but about spending time with the kids. Perspective. It's all about perspective.
Although I was looking forward to the night out with friends, I got to spend quality time with my kids. How many times have you felt angry, upset, short, bored, or tired because you had to cancel plans in order to hang with the kiddos? That sounds terrible, but if you are a parent you know what I'm talking about. Instead of looking at the situation as a time where I missed out, I look at it as a time to make memories. My daughter is 4 going on 13, and my son is 19 months old with a temper problem. Tonight we were living life to the fullest. We had bath time, followed by a Target trip, and then some ice cream. Tonight wasn't about me or Kristi, tonight was about being available for two kids who want nothing more than attention. Kristi is so good with the children and I hope I am growing in this area.
Kids are a lot like people who first come to Christ... they want validation, forgiveness, to be joyful, and want ice cream :) - Okay, that last one might be me, but kids do look for the same thing new believers do; acceptance, a teacher, and a sense of belonging. Tonight I got to make a three hour period, a time of joy with my kids. Which begs the question, "Am I doing this right?" Who knows if I am or not, but I do know that they have a better chance in society if I pay attention to them and spend quality time with them. They will pick up on my non-verbal communication much faster than my verbal.
Kids emulate their parents. Which makes me think of this verse: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). If we are living in a life of transparency with God and others, then I feel confident in my kids future. I don't just need to be honest with God, but with others. Why? Accountability, that's why. Sometimes we use God as a scapegoat because we know we get forgiveness. That's not right. In fact God tells us that the His kingdom goes through a narrow gate, and only a few will find it (Matthew 7:13-14). He also says true disciples not only cast out demons in his name (follow the rules and follow what we are suppose to do) but who do His will.
See, tonight could have been a time of stress, but it was a time of development. Whether or not I taught them anything is to be seen down the road. All I know is I had a great time and they did too. Hopefully, my attitude rubbed off on them as much as their child like faith rubbed off on me. Kristi and I aren't perfect, but we are trying to set an example that would make us proud of our children. After all, they are our report card!
Posted on Fri, April 24, 2015
by John Phipps