A huge parenting challenge is to get one-on-one time with each child in a way that cultivates a growing and deep relationship with your children. This is what builds strong heart-strings while they are young that continue a deeper relationship into their teenage years when it matters most.
Main Points in This Episode:
- Seize existing opportunities.
- Start while they are young.
- Ask good questions.
- Beware of roadblocks to doing this well.
Scripture in This Episode:
Genesis 1:28 – “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Ephesians 5:15-16 – “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Galatians 6:2 – “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
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Welcome to Courageous Parenting podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.
Hi, I’m Angie from courageous
Mom and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.
We’ve been married for twenty one years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the
Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18, and it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting in the fall. Hello, everyone, welcome back to the podcast. Hey, hey. What an important topic today it is.
We get a lot of questions from you guys, which, by the way, I love.
Yeah, keep them coming.
It helps us to know what topics are relevant for you guys, and that’s our heart.
So we’re going to dive right in, but we’re going to talk about one on one time when you feel spread thin and regardless of how many kids you have, once you have two or more, this becomes an important topic.
And even some people who have just one child struggle if they have a very demanding career or other family members as well. And so the truth is, is that this is I truly believe that this is a relevant topic for anyone who is a parent. So if you are a parent, this topic should be an encouragement to you. Maybe also give you some food for thought things to think about and some inspiration for vision for the kinds of relationships you want to have with your kids when they’re older. Because this is really impactful for that.
Absolutely. And as you guys know, you probably know we have nine children, two launched in the last year, so that’s exciting. Seven still at home.
But even with that, like having the two older children that don’t live at home and they live about an hour ish away from us, we still purposefully try to make time to get together with them, to see them, to connect with them. And I love when they come out.
It was so great yesterday, all of us together and it was so fun. So anyways, we so appreciate you being part of the podcast mission and right.
Hey, you guys, you know, one of the things that is an encouragement to Isaac and I and also helps us with this ministry knowing what to talk about and what has really touched your heart is when you leave comments specifically on iTunes, it helps the algorithms to get the news out to other people. It shows up in other people’s feeds, podcast feeds and so forth. And so if you could just take a moment today, if any of our podcasts have made an impression upon you impacted your parenting in any kind of way, maybe stirred up purposeful conversations between you and your spouse that have led to you guys doing something more intentionally. Would you take a moment and leave a comment for us? Because that is an encouragement to both.
It is, and you notice something really cool recently that we’re close to 2000 written reviews.
Yeah, it’s a huge and iTunes. I it spurs me on for sure. I can speak for myself that like when Isaac shares new comments with me, I’m like, OK, keep going. Keep doing this. This is make an impact.
Yeah, because just like you, we only like doing things where we know it’s valuable and it’s having impact. And so when we hear that, we’re like, OK, yeah, this is having impact. This is encouragement. So it really doesn’t
Because we’re human, you know, just like you guys, I think sometimes people can think, Oh, they’ve been doing this a long time, they’re going to keep doing this forever, and we would like to if it is helpful. And so it’s really an encouragement to you, Tess.
Absolutely. So there is a there is a serious challenge when you’re a parent of getting that quality and quantity time with your kids, and both are important and we can’t believe that like we shouldn’t be the parents that just say, Well, I don’t spend very much time with my kids, but at the time I do spend is quality time. Usually when that is said, it’s not as fruitful as probably things need to be. But we’re also not going to be on this podcast saying you need to find new time to spend with your kids because nobody has no time or extra hours or feels that way. But there are opportunities we’re going to talk about when we talk about some creative ways that we have done this without. You know, sometimes there is setting a set time, we’ll talk about that, but there’s other opportunities too.
Yeah, but I think that one of the reasons why we probably get the question of how do you come up with time to have one on one with your kids is because we do have nine and so obviously time we don’t get more time than you get right? And so we have to be creative and purposeful or intentional about finding one on one time with our kids, because that’s always been something that was super important to both Isaac and I. So we’re going to give you guys some tips. We’re going to share some of the things that we’ve done over the years because it’s changed based upon how many kids we’ve had. Yeah, but also another question that we get another challenge. And I think that this actually answers that question for people. A lot of people will come to us and be like, I feel like I’m losing my child’s heart or I don’t have my child’s heart at the same level that I used to, or I’m struggling with feeling even respected by my child. And maybe they’re not obeying these kinds of questions come to us all the time. And I one of the very first things that I tell people is is it possible that they need one on one time with you? Is it possible that there’s conflict in your relationship with them? Is it possible that maybe they don’t feel as loved? Are valued by you, and they’re acting out because they need more attention, because the one on one time can actually help with that.
And so I’m sharing that with you guys because this is there are going to be seasons in your parenting and in your relationships with each of your kids where you’re going to sense that tension on and off at different times. And for me, one of the very first things that I will go to before I’m even thinking about consequences or different things like that as I evaluate, do I need to have one on one time with the kids? I’m even feeling that in one of the relationships that I have with one of the kids now. And and so this is a relevant topic that is not a quick fix. This is something that you need to revisit and evaluate and all your relationships constantly throughout your parenting
Because you’ll never build deep relationships in groups. Just think about that in the work space. Think about that in the family. You’re can nurture relationship overall, but it really takes deep relationship, takes one on one time in quality and quantity, one on one time.
It’s interesting because as we’re talking about that, what is the solution for getting to know God? What is the Bible call us to do in our relationship with God? It says to abide in him, rest in him. Take time away. What did Jesus do? He took time away to pray and to have intimate time with God. And that’s something that we have to do in our relationships with God. And also modeling that for our kids so that they do that in their relationship with God. But first, we model how to do this with God, by how we have relationships with one another within the family unit. And so finding that time to like get to the deep questions, not avoiding them, being willing to ask hard questions, being willing to listen, talk things out like that process shows our kids how to go deep. And I think a lot of people struggle with that today because their lives are so busy. Yeah, I mean, I know that there have been times where I’ve even thought about or desired like, especially like when you move right and you don’t know new people, you go through a season where you’re in transition and you’re like, OK, where I don’t have my friends that I’ve built deep relationships with, and you crave that. And what does it take? It takes time. It takes quality time and quantity time to build those relationships. I think sometimes families can take one another for granted, and parents don’t necessarily purposefully build that with their children.
Yeah. So let’s dive in here. So good. So seizing opportunities. So we’re not here going, Hey, fabricate some more time. Although when we start with God, we tend to our days tend to go better and it kind of creates some time, but seize seize opportunities and that already exists. So why don’t you think about this, who when you’re driving down the road, you know who’s next to you? Is there an older kid in the front seat next to you? Maybe they can’t be in the front seat yet, so there’s a kid right behind you in the middle. Maybe you position the kid you want to have some more connection with in the car closer to you, so you can actually have some communication when you’re driving places. And sometimes there’s a time for worshiping the Lord together, and that’s fun and having music on and so forth. But I would say
Learning together or
Learning together, but I would say, look for the opportunities where you can turn everything off actually. Or you can have it on just in the back of the car for the other kids, and you’re focusing in on one of the kids in a conversation. And so sometimes as parents, we get such a rhythm of being around each other when I’m around my kids all the time. But do we actually have that one on one connection going deep, asking them questions and not being a mom or dad mode? Just trying to fix things they say, but instead being in relational mode where we’re hearing longer? And I think that’s really important for having one on one time. I might think of a response. I’m going to say back to a kid, but I’ll save it because I feel like in the moment it might discourage them from continuing to share things with me. And so I’ll just put a pin in that in my head, and I’ll just keep conversing for a long time with them, and I might swing it back later at a good time. So you have to think about timing too, because how would a friend now you’re the parent, we believe you should always be the parent. But there are times as a parent where we need to connect on a relational level one on one, and that’s what we’re talking about. So how could you take advantage of driving time?
Well, I even think about this as a mom, I’m thinking back to when I had six kids that were all 10 and under 11 and under. And I had I was fortunate enough. We saw the value in investing in a mother’s helper because you were working crazy hours and and so this is a potential tool or something that maybe some of you should consider. And I’ve recommended this to other moms before because what we did for many weeks was every week I would rotate who I would take with me. On my errand day, and I would just knock out a bunch of things, whether it was Costco Post Office, picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping, different things, and I would take a different kid with me one week and then the next Monday I would take a different kid with me and I would do something special with that kid on that day. And so let’s say one of the boys needed a haircut. I would take that boy to get a haircut. We’d also be out and we get lunch together, and that’s when we would talk and we would have conversations while we’re driving, and they would help me out. And if they needed socks or needed new shoes that became part of that week’s Aaron. And so with six kids, it was like once every six weeks I was having a day just with that kid. Now I get that a lot of times people can’t necessarily afford a mother’s helper, but maybe you have a grandparent or you could swap doing this with another mom and you have her kids over every other week.
You’re taking out a kid because maybe you have three kids, right? And they have three kids and you take turns and then that mom goes and spends intentional time with another. There are many ways that you can find time to do one on one time, while also still being productive in getting the things done that you need to get done, which I think there is value in that. Ok, I just want to say that there is an important need for kids to learn how to be responsible with their life and getting things done. It’s OK for your kids to see you going to pick up dry cleaning. It’s OK for your kids to go along with you to the post office or to the bank, right? That’s how they learn that they need to do those things when they’re older. And so taking them along with you and then this is how you do life together, right? And they’ll ask questions about like, you know, I remember when Solomon, he’s six years old and just even going to a post office and mailing something, he started asking all kinds of questions. What are stamps for? How much do stamps cost? How like all the different questions, right? And they may seem like they’re not deep questions, but to a six year old, they are deep questions. And if you take time to answer those questions that you yourself as an adult might think, well, this is a silly question or this isn’t deep, but you take time to really care. It’s the caring that actually speaks volumes to your child’s heart.
It’s so, so important and help each other out in the marriage. You know, husbands help your wife to have alone time with certain kids and encourage that. Maybe it’s on a Saturday instead of doing something you know, we’re all for hospitality, but maybe it’s instead of hospitality. Are we having so much hospitality because we, as parents want to be around like minded people, so much that we’re doing, maybe even too much of it. And and yeah, all our families, kids are hanging out with each other. But are you building a strong relationship with your kids or your kids building stronger relationships with peers? And so because you want to hang out with older people, so just think about those things, there’s a balance, there’s a season. If you don’t have a strong relationship with one of your kids, maybe you need to hold back on hospitality for a week or two and and just dedicate that time. Husband watches the other kids and and mom goes out with one of the kids, and maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe the husband needs to nurture a stronger relationship with the kid, and the wife recognizes that and goes, Hey, why don’t you go? You know, take him fishing, or why don’t you go do this thing? And I just think that’s so important and the kids need to get used to, especially as you have more kids, that the idea that there is alone time and everybody doesn’t always go with mom or dad and those kinds of things, and you have to set that up.
Yeah, that’s an interesting it’s a concept that kids can sometimes. I mean, obviously, adults, all humans can be selfish at times, right? And so but but sometimes kids can be like, Oh, why am I not getting to go? Because they know that that kid’s going to get a special lunch or maybe get a smoothie while they’re out and they’re they’re a little maybe a little jealous or whatever. But this is the thing. If you take time with each of the kids and you have expressed verbally, you’ve communicated verbally like, it’s your intention that you’re taking care of each of them and having this kind of time with each of them, then they tend to be more supportive in staying home, especially as the kids start getting older. They’ll be more supportive and have a good attitude towards staying home and taking care of the youngsters so that you can go out with one of the other metals because they know that they’re going to have a time in the future and that that kid is going to step up and do what they are doing because it takes a lot to manage a home, right? There’s meals being made, there’s clean up, there’s dishes, there’s maybe babysitting of siblings and different things going on. And so to to navigate this, well, you want to make sure that you’re not putting all of the responsibility on one child or even two kids to where it feels like a burden. You want to kind of even the cushion it out so that everybody has a good attitude and is feeling valued and we’re working as a team together so that all relationships are being cultivated. I think it’s even important to sometimes take out kids to by two. I know that’s not what we’re talking about. Maybe. Will do a different podcast on that, but just putting that in there and going, oh, maybe those two kids are not having a good relationship, so maybe I should take them together with me.
Yeah, and sometimes take a kid on a walk. It can be very spontaneous. Hey, honey, can you? Do you mind if I take Johnny here on a on a walk around the block? I mean, Johnny is going to think, that’s amazing. So to get time with dad, right? And just one on one, maybe things are so busy. It just feels like you can’t. Well, actually, could you after dinner, just take a walk around the block
Or that’s just convicted me, even because I know that like, there have been many times where, like Drew, he’ll be like, Hey, mom, can I show you something? And the chicken coop and the chicken coops a little bit of a walk away, right? And I’ll be like in the midst of cooking, dinner or something. And so a lot of times they’ll be like, Oh, I can’t right now, I’ll try to later. And and I definitely do go on walks with him. But those are actually some of my best conversations with him is when we go for a walk and we go down to the chicken coop and we’re talking about other things on the way they are back. But then I’m taking an interest in what he’s been working on.
And I mean, I think it’s seeing the mundane things and seeing the opportunity in the mundane yet driving walking somewhere. Groceries, the different things that you could be doing where you could grab somebody with you and you’re having conversations while you’re trying to pick out the bacon.
And yeah, it’s not even just like necessarily driving or moving somewhere, although those are really good things. That’s one of our points. Is that like, how can you take advantage of things that you’re already doing? And for me, as a mom, it would look different than, like Isaac has some examples for as a dad over the years. But for me, it’s been including my kids and inviting them to bake with me or inviting them to do household chores with me, where we’re like doing something together. And this starts when your kids are little. It doesn’t matter what age they are. But being able to have those conversations throughout the day in the tasks that you’re doing, so you’re teaching them how to do it. But it’s it’s not about baking cookies or rolls for dinner. Like I remember, even with our oldest, when she would go to, she went to a private Christian school for one year and I always saved the baking rolls for when she would come home because I knew that I could actually get her to talk and share more if she was busy with her hands because she just loved baking and it kind of like brought down any pretenses. It kind of helped her to veg out and to chill, and even to this day when she’s baking, if she comes over and she’s baking something in the kitchen, she’s the most joyful and most talkative. She’s just in her realm, right? Yeah. And so like, figuring out what it is for your kids is not a hard thing to do. It’s just a matter of like inviting them to be a part of many different things and paying attention to how your kids are responding in those different elements and when they’re doing different things. Yeah. And then like, you know, including them.
And I would say as a dad, it’s I remember working out, you know, I haven’t been lately in any too. But there was a season, a couple of years where I worked out pretty regularly and the Solomon would come in and learn how to do you know, weights? Have I have an incest story I saved? It’s under family. You can look at it where he’s trying to push up the smallest, little tiny weight he’s like as you possibly can and grabs his arm and pushes it the rest of the way up. That’s from when they would come in and work out with me, and you might be thinking, Well, no, I get in my zone. I listen to this podcast and, you know, I can’t be watching kids when I’m working out. Well, you actually can. That’s how I did it. You know, it’s like and we
Have like four or five sons in there working out with you at the same
Time. Yeah. And so I just think sometimes we have to give a little and see the opportunities, and it doesn’t mean you have to do everything with your kids. That’s not the message. You’re what things can you incorporate that you’re already doing and include the minute and maybe one of them in it or all of them are, you know, at certain times, you know, it’s it’s it’s a neat thing, and I think it’s really, really powerful.
I also remember there were many times where you would choose and this was I mean, it was rare, but there were many times where you would invite Austin to come to work with you. Yeah. Like specifically, here’s an example I had signed up the girls to do ballet lessons at a studio that was close to one of the businesses that Isaac was running at the time, and I would get Austin dressed up so Isaac would go to work in the morning and I would get Austin dressed up in a little suit and I would drop him off to go to work with dad and he would be at work. While Kelsey and Megan were doing their ballet and gymnastics lesson, which between the two of them ended up being about an hour and a half. And then I would pick up Austin and we’d all go and we’d go back home. Yeah, and he remembers that like going to work with dad and it was like a special thing to kind of build their relationship.
And even Kelsey used to come to work with me, and she would sit at a coffee shop and especially back in the day if I had to meet with another female. Some of my managers I led were female. And so I never wanted to meet with. Another woman without someone else being there for accountability purposes and nobody being able to accuse me of anything. And so it’s just to protect yourself. You know, I’d bring Kelsey with me to any of those meetings. She would sit with me in the room
And I couldn’t go,
Yeah, yeah, or those kinds of things, and I just found ways to include the kids. It also was helpful, and I would sit and work in different coffee shops for part of my day, and Austin and Kelsey would would be there with me
Or even Megan. As the kids got older, it was easier to have one of them come with you to things and you. It was more about, you know, they would maybe go to a meeting with you for that purpose, but then you would sit and you’d hang out with them and they’d get schoolwork done and you’d be getting work done and you’d get this like jive going right where you’re both being productive. Yeah. And so and that is another like aspect of doing relationship or doing life together, right, is that you can do things together as a team or even separately, but by each other, and that there’s this inertia, this energy.
And I know it helped Austin, too. He used to come to events with me. I’d run these big meetings with where a thousand people would come and he would shake hands, greet people, greet people. He would learn he’d be up in the back with the audio visual people and learning, you know what they’re doing, seeing what they’re doing.
I always funny that that’s kind of his industry.
I know I always had an eye on him. He was always in my sight. But I was able to do other things and in those kinds of things. So anyways, maybe you can’t do that in the same way. But the question is, how can you include your kids and see, so seize the opportunities Ephesians five fifteen says. Look carefully, then how you walk not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. We need to use our time well, and this is a conversation about that. It’s not about necessarily creating new time in those opportunities, but I think we should talk about that. Just for a second is that sometimes you do create special time, sometimes you do do a Saturday. We’re like, as you used to do a Bible study with one of our daughters on Saturdays and have that alone time with them to talk about anything and carving out those special times is important to.
Yeah. And sometimes there are seasons that you go through where you’re like, OK, so I really need to be purposeful in developing this relationship, for example, where it becomes a sacred time, where you and your husband decide on this together and you guys, as a team, work it out for you to go and spend that a long time with your daughter or your son or whatever.
And like us, there’s so many kids. So even if I pare it down to three kids, it still feels more special than if I’m with all the kids, right? So one thing I just started doing is on Thursdays at 3:30, Ethan up to Drew spend an hour with me and we’re going through the kid version of the Rezolute manifesto and how to be
An open family men’s meeting.
It’s the it’s the men’s meaning, and I just started that and it’s been so fruitful. And even though it’s not just one, at least I have the three of them and they do feel special. So there’s ways to do that.
And you’re talking about manhood and stuff, which is like the equivalent of what I was doing, one on one with the girls when we were going through like biblical womanhood, we read a book like beautiful girlhood or whatever together, and we would go through the Bible study and we’d hang out, maybe go antique shopping and just talk and develop relationship that was woman to woman. And you know, so there there’s the point is is that you’re taking special time and you’re communicating with your spouse and you’re getting creative. What works for your family in this season of life that you’re in now? Obviously, we’ve had lots of examples that we’ve shared with you guys. Like I remember the days when Kelsey was super little and Isaac would just take her for a drive. He had a convertible at the time, many years ago, 20 years ago, and her hair would fly. And oh, she just loved that. And so, you know, it starts young. As my point in sharing that brief story is that there are times like daddy daughter dates with your girls when they’re young and taking Austin to work with him and even taking Kelsey. Kelsey went to different meetings as well, and she would also help with greeting and putting papers out.
And there are so many aspects of our lives that we can include our kids in that become these like milestone memories, if you will, of their upbringing that help to cultivate a deep relationship. And it may look different for your family. But the point is is that you’re trying and you’re communicating with your spouse and you’re starting when they’re young, because really, if you start when they’re young with trying to develop an openness and conversation. Then that’s what lays the foundation for your relationship when they’re older, and so, you know, if you don’t ever take time to try to cultivate a long time with your kids and then all of a sudden they’re 20 years old and you’re like, Hey, you want to go grab lunch? And it’s the first time you’ve ever asked. Imagine that kid might go, Well, why is something wrong? Like, Are you dying? You know what I mean? And so it should be a way of life, a way of your relationship where you’re spending time together and you’ve really cultivated some of your closest relationships or with your family.
And I would just say starting young so important because as they get older, you might be wondering, Well, how do I get them talking? What do I talk to them about and all these things? And that’s a sign that he didn’t start young, because if you start young, it becomes very fluid and very easy. But sometimes it’s within our leadership that’s lacking in an area of coming up with good questions. And I’m not going to give you a recipe for that. No chart, nothing like that. You need to rely on the Holy Spirit for that. You should ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom. Each child is different, each parent is different and you should get good at asking questions. I think it would be prudent to do another episode on a coach approach to communicating with your kids. Yeah, I think we’ll do that. But because there is some strategies we can give you on another episode, but you got to start young. That’s really important.
Galatians 62, says bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. I was thinking about this verse earlier when we were discussing this particular topic, because the reality is is that the family God designed the family to be really a practice place for people as they grow up. For what they’re going to do in life, it is an image bearer of the body of Christ. And so if we want to raise our kids in such a way where they are going to be committed to giving their best contribution in as citizens in their communities, but also as citizens of the greater community, the body of Christ and even their local assembly, they really will benefit by having practiced it firsthand within their family as they grow up and this concept of caring one another’s burdens. Here’s the thing if you don’t spend one on one time actually talking to your kids, you don’t know what burdens. They are actually burying themselves so that you can help bear their burdens and vice versa. As parents, you don’t want to make the impression upon your kids that you’re not human, right, and that you’ve got everything under control. Everything’s always OK. I think a lot there’s a whole generational thing here, actually, where a large generation I, I believe, did not want to burden their children with the realities that they were experiencing in life. And I actually think that they have less close relationships with their kids when they’re adults than if they would have actually shared those things. You guys have listened to our podcast where we’ve shared about different seasons we’ve walked through with life transitions, whether a business was going under or whatnot. We shared transparency with our kids and it grew our relationships with them and their relationship with God because they were praying for us with us. And it brought a closeness and a trust that they knew we weren’t going to keep things from them. And so and and that’s actually how you lead that. Like, if you don’t want your kids keeping things from you, then you shouldn’t be keeping everything from them, especially as they get older.
Well, your leadership, your communication with your kids on an ongoing basis, it hinges upon fruitfulness. It is so important in Genesis, it doesn’t say be fruitful and multiply,
Says be fruitful and multiply. So it’s not about having a bunch of kids,
It’s about being fruitful. And how are you fruitful? You communicate, you lead. You encourage you, exhort you teach you love you, ask questions. You just be in relational space with your kids without just constantly fixing what they’re saying. You know, it’s they need to have that relational side of relationship relationship with you is super important. So here’s some roadblocks that and we’re just going to end with this, but they’re really important. So hang on with us roadblocks that come in parents ways.
So first one is selfishness. Like obviously, all of us are human, we all struggle with selfishness. At times, we kind of touched on this briefly. So I’m not going to go super in-depth, but like the thoughts of needing me time needing to veg or different hobbies that maybe you’re asking me honest, obsessed with, maybe or won’t let go of because it’s your thing and you’ve kind of attached your identity to it in such a way where maybe you don’t want to stop participating in that hobby or even limit it to where it’s not something that you’re doing as frequently because you’ve attached your identity to it. Now, that really reveals something that you need to look at deep as a person, as an individual and Christ like because our identity should be in Christ alone, not in the things we do, not in being a good golfer or being able to play video games. Or, you know, and I might be bringing up some things that are stereotypically things that maybe boys do and struggle with as far as transitioning into manhood. And I’m not saying that they’re bad things. I’m just saying like the frequency, what are you sacrificing on a family level, on a relational level with your kids because you’re putting a value on doing these hobbies much higher than having one on one time with your kids? And that’s something that we have to look at because our kids are only in our homes once
We don’t want to have a great time, we never regret when we have all the time in the world on our hands, which if you have grandkids, you probably don’t. You’re going to be an active grandparent. But so also, tech tech is a real roadblock. The addictive nature of technology phones and social media and text messaging with somebody and all these things like we need our outlets, we need our relational connection. But let’s make sure technology is not coming as a roadblock. Why just need it’s naptime? So yes, the older kids still up, but I’m going to have him every single time it’s nap time. Go do something else so that I can be on social media and do these things well. Maybe a couple of times during the week, you should be talking to that older kid versus just having him do something over there. Mm hmm. You know, there’s there’s opportunities right now.
A lot of people also will make decisions that are like even education choices and stuff. I even think about this and there is a real. Important, necessary evaluation that we have to make as parents, am I making the decision I’m making because of selfishness, because I want to do these things, I want to drop my kids off. I see that at the beginning of every school year, I see posts where women are like, Woo
Hoo, Humphrey, gone,
I’m free and like. That view actually stems from and breeds from a perspective that children are a burden. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that every person that puts their kids in school thinks their kids are a. That is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that that attitude of mother gone that stems from I can’t handle spending time with my kids on quantity levels because they drive me crazy. So now I’m loving having this freedom.
So we should never make decisions in fear. We should never make decisions in selfishness. Almost always, those are going to be less quality decisions than what’s possible, right?
And the whole point of this conversation is that you have been given the same amount of time that we’ve been given. Everyone has 24 hours and a day, and how we use our time is an important thing to God also. And he wants us to steward our time well to teach our kids how to steward their time. Well, which is a hard thing to learn. Can I just say that stewarding your time well is a really hard thing for kids to learn, and it’s hard for adults to learn. And so we need to try to model it as best as we can. But we also need to teach our kids how to live a disciplined life so that when their parents, they’re being intentional with their time and using it wisely as well, and not spending too much time on technology or on hobbies or whatever, right?
Another thing is sometimes we’re too rigid. I mean, there can be a rigorous nature to maybe your personalities that way. And so there’s this rigid ness and there’s not this relational opportunity in your kids. Develop a rhythm with you of just being answering correctly to you and doing what you want versus relationship. And we don’t want them to believe that’s how you have a relationship with authority,
Just being compliant,
Being compliant, because then they’re going to have a wrong, potentially a wrong view of how they have a relationship with God in the future. That’s actually just a compliant, you know, rigid, works based kind of thing. And that’s not the case. There’s good works out of people because of love for God and relationship with God. So that’s you know what we would rather see ambition can get in the way to, you know, ambition by itself is not a bad word. Ambition can have a desire to be productive and be fruitful with our labor and do good that helps other people. I would say you could qualify ambition in that corner, but you could also qualify ambition in a corner of idolatry, taking away from the things that are most important distraction from the priorities in the world. And you could be having a side hustle or doing something where it becomes an idol and you can’t get your thoughts off of it. And so then you don’t think of the good questions to ask your kids and you don’t seize those opportunities with your kids. And so just be aware of that. Hmm.
No, it’s so good. I also think there’s an element, too, where these roadblocks can become an addiction. You kind of mentioned that with technology, but even ambition can become an addiction, right? I mentioned it regarding hobbies potentially becoming part of your identity. But ambition can also, there’s a temptation when it becomes idolatry, then it becomes part of your identity. And so these are all roadblocks that are going to potentially be in the way of you being able to put the most important relationships first and making the right decisions with your time that are going to actually provide an opportunity for you to build a deeper relationship with your child or your wife even or your husband, right? And so this is just this is a conversation that I think is a needed introspective. We need to try to be objective, look at ourselves from the outside looking in and go, Hmm. Am I doing any of these things? Is there anything that the Holy Spirit would want me to change? That God would want me to change so that I can have better fruitfulness in my family relationships and in future relationships? I mean, we talked briefly about vision for family and how important it is to start young. But many of you listening, maybe you don’t have young kids anymore.
Maybe you have middles, maybe of teens. The reality is is you can come to your child humbly and say, I wish I would have spent more alone time with you. I love you and I want to get to know you better. I want to spend alone time with you and start pursuing their heart now by spending that quality and quantity time with your kiddo. And I say that because that. That should be a huge encouragement to many of us because we all screw up in this and we need to teach our kids how to have grace with us too. And part of that is by coming to them humbly and saying I messed up. I know that even just being a mom of many, there have been times where I’ve been, like, taken Megan out and I’m like, I love spending time with you. I really I want you to know. I wish I could do this more. Mm hmm. You know, and I say that to her a lot because it’s true, but also because I don’t want her to think that I. I am choosing to do the other, more mundane things of my life because I love those things more. I really would love to spend more.
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