Relationships Require Time
Dennis and Barbara Rainey
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
What if you approached your mate after your wedding and said, “Now that we're married, please don't make me spend time with you”? Naturally your mate would say, “You're crazy! How can we build a marriage unless we spend time together?”
The same is true with your children. Barbara and I discovered that, as our kids grew older and began to spend more and more time with friends, we had to work harder to spend time with them.
Be creative as you think of things you can do that your children would enjoy. Smaller children, for example, love something as simple as a trip to a convenience store to buy a candy bar or an ice-cream cone.
We live out in the country and when we're in town with two cars, we need to decide who will drive with Mom and with Dad. Usually our two youngest girls say, “We want to go with Daddy.” You know why? Because if I stop for gas at the convenience store, they figure I'm a soft touch; they try to ease me on over to the ice cream or candy section.
And you know what? I am a soft touch. I love spending time with them, and it's an opportunity to enjoy something together that they like to do. Is it always fat free and super healthy? No, but it is healthy for the relationship.
A great thing for teenagers is to go shopping with them. My girls enjoy shopping for clothes, while the boys look for sporting equipment. It's not the purchase that's important; it's the time you spend together.
Another great thing to do, which we're losing in today's culture, is reading to our kids. It is a real sacrifice of love and an easy way for both moms and dads to get involved with their kids. I read Chronicles of Narnia to one of my sons and he loved it!
Last night my teenage son, Samuel, and I went to town to get some groceries and “waste” some time together without any agenda. His response? “Dad, I'm glad we just spent some time together without any big goals. It was great to be with you!”
When's the last time you “wasted” an evening with one of your children for no other reason than just being with them?
Ask God to help you set more time aside just for your kids.
Discuss: Evaluate how you spend time with each of your children. Do you need to commit more time to your kids just doing things on their levels?