We are in the middle of a 5 week teaching series at Church180. This is the first time I’ve taught a series on parenting and I do it this time, not because I feel like I can, but because I feel like I must! I teach not as an expert, but as a fellow traveler on the parenting journey. This series has been insightful for me as I trust it has been for others.
Preparing for this weekend’s teaching I have been a bit overwhelmed.
Today I read a line in Gordon McDonald’s book The Effective Father that put a lump in my throat.
“A father who thinks a television show is more important than a child’s bedtime will lose out on some of the most wonderful moments of life. He will miss the joy when his daughter takes his face in her two small hands and rubs his day old beard, studies his wrinkling middle-aged forehead [not applicable in my case], and kisses the tip of his nose.”
I have tucked “The Ladies” in bed enough to know that more often than not this is exactly what happens.
Lately I have been tired. The day does not end when the ladies go to bed. There is a kitchen to be cleaned up, clothes to be laundered, preparations to be made for the next day, etc. During the time that I am doing these things I have the TV on keeping me updated with the news of the day. Because I am tired it is often easier to go through the mindless ritual of cleaning up and listening to the news than it is to give a little bit more to each of the ladies. It is easier to say a quick goodnight and exchange a quick “goodnight kiss” as they are headed down the hall than it is to take time to tuck in, whisper with and spend a little more time with each lady.
I am a buffoon for thinking this.
By choosing to work and listen to the TV, I am choosing NOT to listen to and kiss and nuzzle with these awesome little ladies. Bad decision.
Ten years from now what is happening today won’t matter so much. BUT ten years from now, the investment that I make in my daughters today will matter a TON!
I need to say “No” to the TV tonight… and tomorrow night… and the next night…