Quantity Time

Please allow me to interrupt my own quest to blog through Mark for this little aside. I was reminded of this rather bluntly about a year ago. I’ve been reminded, again, that not everyone in the world sees thing through the lens of scripture. Bear with me…
In Deuteronomy 5:1 Moses has summoned ‘all Israel’ for a meeting. He opens it up and says “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them.” And then he proceeds to, at least, give them the Ten Commandments along with many other statutes as well.

And after all those laws he gives them this:

“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
4“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.£ 5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”–Deuteronomy 6:1-9

And here’s thing that gets me every time I read this passage: the emphasis is on parents discipling their children in the Word of God. Look at verse 2. Moses even gives them the reason for God giving them the commands [I.e., the word of God] “that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.” You and your son and your son’s son. A legacy of faithfulness to God’s word is what is at stake.

But do we take it seriously?

I know a lot of people work and have careers and are trying to provide a great life for their families and their children. I know a lot of people were ‘upwardly mobile’ when I was growing up. That’s what they called it anyway. Time with their kids was reduced to ‘quality time’ and other twenty three and a half hours of the day belonged to them. Yuppies they were called. The boomers and their beemers and their six figure salaries [I guess seven is the new six but that’s not the point]. The point is that quality time is really only found during quantity time and no beemer is worth the smile on a child’s face the first time they write their name or make a snake with play-doh.

When you walk and when you go and when you do things together. That’s when you’ll have a chance to talk with your kids about the word of God. When you’re picking up the toys or doing the chores or going to the hardware/grocery/whatever store. There’s your chance to talk to them.

And something else that’s important…Dad’s, I need you to hear this. If you’re not willing to talk about Power Rangers or Lightning McQueen or Bratz or Wii or Xbox or whatever else it is that has captured your child’s imagination you’re surely not going to be ABLE to talk with them about Jesus. And that’s bad right now, but what about later? What about when its drugs and smoking and drinking? Or what about when its sex? Lay the ground work now because you may not get a chance later. In fact, you probably won’t.

The truth of the matter is that the best thing you can give your child is a stack of worn out Bibles and books.

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6 responses to “Quantity Time

  1. Great post. We do have to be intentional with our children, even if we’re home with them all day… challenging and encouraging words.

  2. Thanks Jenn. I think it’s easy for us to sort of develop a blind spot with our own kids ESPECIALLY when we’re with them all day. We forget that there’s a difference between being there and being present. Does that make sense? Accessibility counts.

  3. You’re right – there’s a huge difference between “being ther and being present.” I fall so incredibly short on this one. I’m home with them, but far too often I’m distracted and don’t want to talk about LEGOs or whatever else one more minute, but they really need to know I care about what matters to them so they will be able to hear about what matters most of all.

  4. Oops – “being there” – forgot the “e.” It’s been a long day….

  5. Longer than most people could deal with probably.

    I was talking with my pastor the other day about staying at home with the kids and it came up that at some point you just have to admit that you’re doing the best that you can. He said: “Yeah, you do the best you can and say grace over the rest.”

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