“Mom, do you want to ride our bikes up and down the street so I can tell you about my weekend fishing trip with Dad and Grandpa?” Side by side, peddling in stride, up and down the street they rode, mom listening to every detail of his weekend. “Mom, the lake was low. We didn’t catch very many, and what we caught we threw back in, but we had fun.” She listened as he described the drive there and back with his dad, the time in the boat drifting along the lake’s edge and all about what they had eaten. How thankful she was for this time with her son, knowing she would treasure the memory for years to come.
In the days to follow, as she thought about that afternoon, she was grateful for the decision they made as a family not to overcommit their time. Limiting their involvement and commitments allowed her the sweet memories of riding back and forth in front of their home listening to her son tell about his weekend away. If they had scheduled all their afternoons and evenings running here and there, trying to get to practices, games, and other commitments, she would have missed the time with him.
On occasion, this young mom has felt much like a fish swimming upstream, with many of her friends spending their evenings and weekends running to practices, games, and other extracurricular activities. Yet, she and her husband have been resolved to savor the limited amount of time they have with their children, choosing their family commitments carefully, knowing before long the children will be grown and gone.
In looking at the life of Jesus while on this earth, we see He treasured time.
I believe it was because He knew His time was limited. Jesus seemed to make every minute count, whether it was teaching and encouraging a group of fishermen, a woman at the well, a child, his twelve disciples, or the many multitudes that frequently gathered around him. He was intentional in his investment of time. Loving people and spending time with them was an important part of His ministry. I am sure Peter and John treasured the time spent with Jesus, the fond memories they made, and the many lessons they learned.
Jesus committed to spend time with as many as possible while here on earth. For Him, time with others was a privilege, a priority, and an investment. By spending time with people, Jesus was investing in their spiritual wellbeing.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
In It Starts at Home, Kirk Bruner says:
“What is the greatest threat to successfully passing the compass of faith to our children? In a word: negligence. Our days are filled with activity and responsibility. We live at such a pace that it is difficult to even think about the spiritual development of our children, let alone direct it. Most of us take our kids to church and hope the forty minute lesson will get the job done. Deep within, however, we know it isn’t enough. We feel guilty. We regret the pace. We worry about the outcome. But we cannot seem to break the cycle.”
He goes on to say:
“God designed the home as the primary place that children receive spiritual instruction and experience the tangible embodiment of spiritual realities. Those blessed with the gift of children are called to inspire and nurture Christian faith and godly character in the next generation as life’s greatest privilege and priority.”
Our time with our children is relatively short. If we commit all our family time to practices, games, and extracurricular activities, as good as they may be, we will miss those special moments of riding bikes up and down the street, hiking through the woods, coloring with our preschooler, listening and talking about their day, and those precious times of inspiring and nurturing within them Christian faith, which is our greatest privilege and priority.
Treasure the time!
“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
*Keep reading below for a personal letter from Dianne to the Missional Motherhood community!
*We’d love to hear about a recent “special moment” you have shared with your child(ren) and ways you are intentionally striving to “treasure the time!” You can leave a comment below or comment on our Facebook page under Dianne’s post.
Letter from Dianne:
I realize a “bio” was posted already, but I wanted to make this post a little more personal by introducing myself. I am the proud wife of Mark, the mother of two young women, Angela and Kelly, mother-in-law to two fine young men, Mark and Robbie, and “Mimi” to seven, wonderful grandchildren. Mark was employed by an investment firm for twenty-two years before the Lord called us into full-time vocational ministry. We served on our church staff for over eleven years.
In the spring of 2007, we felt God leading us to step down from our ministry position. Just two months later, my husband was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative condition at the age of fifty-five. At that point, we began a new journey with the Lord. Forced to sell our home, we moved five times in five years. Mark’s condition continues to rob him of his mobility and speech, yet, in the midst of heartache and pain, God has revealed Himself in powerful ways.
Our lives don’t look at all the way I thought they would at this stage. There have been many “losses,” but we know this is God’s plan for us, and He is using our story for His glory and honor. As I write each month, I trust you will see Him in all that is written. At times, you will catch a glimpse of who I was, at other times, who I am, and then, who I hope to be. You will know my struggles – for they have been many! You will know my heart, because it is His. You will also know my pain, because in the midst of all we are experiencing there is often pain. I hope in all that is written you will be encouraged and challenged to be more like the Father. We are to be His light to the world around us!
Shine girls! Shine!