I wanted to share a journal entry with you that I recently made. It has to do with being a father and three separate, but related incidents which are having a defining effect on my thinking.
#1 Yesterday I was talking with Reagan about the need for us to get back on our dating schedule. She said something like this, “I’ve got to go to school dad, so we’ll not be able to do it anymore.” AHHHHHHHHH!!! “Cat’s in the Cradle” started blaring in my ears!
#2 This morning I read in 2 Timothy 3:15 – “From infancy you have known the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
#3 Recently I’ve been reading Gordon McDonald’s book, The Effective Father. Among a ton of other great things, two quotes in particular have arrested me:
- “Big returns never happen in the future unless sizable investments are made in the present.”
- Speaking of the price of being an effective father, McDonald writes, “…effective fatherhood demands first of all, the price of putting one’s personal discretionary freedoms up for grabs.” This has to do with speech patterns, leisure activities, habits, time management, etc.
A few key decisions that I’m making:
- Cancel our cable (I’ve been contemplating this for a while).
- Teach and talk scripture to our children.
- Resume dating with intense regularity.
OK, I’ve set my journal aside and want to share some thoughts with you that will help you understand this thinking:
On canceling the cable and dating:
I’m amazed at how quickly my children are growing up. It won’t be long until I have to compete with other boys and activities for their attention. If I don’t secure their attention and affection NOW, I will likely not gain it later! Reagan’s words to me ripped my heart out. There is no meeting, no sermon, no project important enough for me to derail my time with my daughters… but it happens more than I like to admit, especially with all of the activity of moving and planting a church.
It’s so easy to give myself to activities that will make absolutely no difference for anyone five years from now. I have a choice to make: I can continue to loaf in front of the TV, read books, go to meetings, and have conversations that will have virtually no impact in the future, OR I can choose to cut those things out of my life so that I can have more time to invest in the future – my children.
On teaching and talking scripture:
Paul’s words to Timothy gripped my heart: “From infancy you have known the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” I want my children to know Christ and the way to salvation. They know Dora, The Wiggles, Barney, Ariel the Mermaid, and The Little Einsteins, and I’m okay with that. I want them to know Jesus too! Knowing Jesus won’t happen by sitting in front of the TV. It will only happen when I take the initiative and begin to teach and talk with my ladies about God and His Son, Jesus.
I cannot leave the life-development of my children to chance. I must take the bull by the horns, be pro-active, and begin today.
One more quote from Gordon McDonald…
“The average person may consider investments of time and interest in young children too high a price to pay, but one who evaluates human beings from the long-term perspective knows there couldn’t be a better use of one’s time and energy.” Gordon McDonald
If you’re a dad, do yourself and your family a favor and pick up McDonald’s book! You can get it as low as $.01 on Amazon! Click here to check it out!