Let’s go back to the Sears Christmas Wish Book I mentioned yesterday. So many memories..
Here’s a few of them:
How many times I would pour over the pages of the catalog, mark what I wanted, then proceed to my mom and dad and say, “You know what I want for Christmas?” And how many times did I hear them say, “We can’t afford that.”
What could they afford? The same thing that every parent can afford—time.
When I survey Scripture, I see God’s instructions to parents taking time not money.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- To train, discipline (which is teaching, instructing, and correcting) and nurturing takes time.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
- Often children get into trouble because they are just crying out for someone to pay them some attention. They want to know where you will draw the line. It takes time to teach what is right, what is wrong, what to do to stay right, and what will happen if we choose to go our own way.
Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
- Please note again the meaning of discipline and the need to take time to be diligent to fulfill the complete picture of discipline/discipleship. If a child does need a spanking, it should not be a quick strike out of anger, but a time of loving correction and training.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
- Once again, you cannot teach, train and disciple on the run. It is your lifestyle. It takes time.
Parents, your greatest investment on this earth will be your children. They don’t need you to buy them things to make up for where you have failed. They need your love, attention, character-training, and fun times. They need you to teach them the Word of God. They need to hear how you came to salvation. They need you to pray with them. They need you to make spiritual applications of life with them throughout the day. They need you to teach them how to work, how to eat, how to be hospitable, how to serve others, how to talk, how to be a blessing to others, how to make their beds, how to get up and make the day count, how to cook, how to do life in general by the grace of God.
They need you. They need you every day.
Parents, this Christmas, rather than spending so much money, spend a lot of your time. Give your children something that will eclipse that banana-seat bicycle. Give them the best gift—your time; give them you.