I remember a day my son came to me in tears because he had been ‘wasting time’. He had been reading the Bible and taking notes. Taking notes is hard for him and it takes a long time to get his thoughts down on paper -which is why he thought he was wasting time. How wrong could he be! How could I possibly say reading the Bible and thinking about it was wasted time -but there was something inside of him that felt it took too long, it didn’t produce what it should have, and there were other important things to do.

How often do we have this attitude? As we set out to disciple our children we need to take on a fresh and revised understanding of what is important with the use of our time.

Society values productivity especially if it produces success -success is defined by position and money. If we buy into this thinking our efforts need to be constantly improving our standing or preparing us for this so called success. This is not God’s way.

Jesus’ command to us was to love God with our whole heart and to love our neighbour as our self. Surely if that is what he commands us to do then he places a high value on the activities that would promote such things. Relationship with God – Relationship with fellow man.

What does this look like?

  • It means that we make time – make it happen, rearrange our priorities so that we can spend time with Jesus sometime through the day and we help our children do the same.
  • It means that we make time to teach and understand God’s ways – his Word.
  • It means that we make time to put into practice the things that we learn (so that we are not just hearers of the Word, but doers.)
  • It means that we arrange our day in order to support, encourage, build, strengthen relationships with each other, and any one else God brings across our path.

It means that we stop doing stuff if we have a break in our relationships (or our children have a break in a relationship) – we take time to fix whatever is broken. What does a tidy house, a project completed, a phone call made mean if our children’s hearts are hurting! It is so easy to put it off till a bit later on. In reality this often means the hurt get buried, pushed aside or ignored – but not healed.

Our society is very task orientated – the job must be done. But at what cost?

Do we get to the point that we say, like my son that day – my Quiet Time is taking too much time, I don’t have time for it today? Do we rush over activities like playing together, reading together, making stuff together, talking together because we have other things to do? Do we have time to live out our faith?

Remember, Jesus’command was to love God and to love one another.

Do we value the same things as Jesus?

This coming week can I challenge you to identify the things that you think are wasted time and compare them with Jesus’ standard – are they really wasted time? Or are they precious relationship building opportunities. This week let’s put relationships first.

When Daniel came to me upset at wasting time, I told him that he was going down the path of “stinkin’ thinkin’ ”; that was a phrase that a friend added to our vocab last year. When our thinking is not in line with the Word of God it is stinkin’. Maybe we need a little adjustment in our thinking too.

The Bible says to not be conformed to the things of this world – this means we need to find a different mindset, to live in a way that is different, to not be like those who don’t know Jesus.

The Bible says to renew our mind – to have our beliefs, our values changed to be in line with the Word of God.

It takes quite a step of faith to allow us to put relationships first. It goes against the grain and it goes against what everyone else is doing. But this is what Jesus’ heart is for us!

Further Reading

How do we define success?  What is success?  How you define sucess will shape every decision you make in your family.

Do you Know Why?  When we know why we do things we find the motivation to carry through.

What does your Child Believe? Heart focus parenting is about teaching our children beliefs and values,training their character and preparing them to make wise choices in their life.

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