ENJOY YOUR KIDS
If you heard it once, you’ve heard it so many times. Time flies by, kids grow up so fast. My oldest child just turned 43 last week. It’s really hard to believe. She has lived away from home now, longer than she lived under my roof. Her oldest son, my first grandchild, just got his driver’s license! In two years he will be 18! What! How did this happen? Only yesterday I was wrestling him and his little brother on the floor!
Recently my wife and I were babysitting some of our grandchildren. We had them over to our house, all gathered around the table. I baked a pizza and then watched some kid’s shows with 4 of them up in our bedroom. My goodness, it was such a blessing. I simply sat there and enjoyed their company, their giggles, their silliness, and their questions, and each in turn wanted to use grandma’s exercise glider as we watched some shows together. I made them some of my special popcorn, and we just enjoyed the time together. It brought back so many memories of having my own 4 children in our home, growing up. I would watch my kids rollerblade back and forth in our old basement. I watched them draw, I watched them play Mario. We watched movies. I wrestled them on the floor. I listened to their made-up stories and shot baskets on our mini basketball hoop on the patio. I watched them ride their bikes in the driveway, so many things. As a father, I truly enjoyed my children. I took real pleasure in being with them and enjoying their company.
Over the years, I have observed many parents who rather than truly enjoying their children, just tolerated them. They simply endured the parenting years, almost resenting the fact that the kids interfered with their lives. Many dads see their kids as an interruption to more important things they want to get done. This is a tragic mistake, as you miss out on these incredibly special moments in your children’s lives, but you also greatly diminish the impact you can have on them for Christ because your child can sense you do not enjoy them. They feel they are a bother to you, an inconvenience. This distorts their perception of God, and sours their view of Christianity.
I’ll never forget a young man I knew for many years. He struggled greatly in life because his father ignored him, and did not enjoy his son. This young man has such vivid memories of playing those old electric football games, only to have his dad get angry with him, for making noise, and somehow interrupting his dad’s life. This father, rather than getting involved with his son, enjoying the fun and thrill his son got from playing this game instead left a deep, hurtful, lasting impression on his son, that like a brand seared on his soul, screamed, You bother me. I do not enjoy you. I wish you weren’t around!
Dads, please hear me today. Check your attitude, examine the aura that emanates from you towards your children, and ask yourself this question. Do my kids sense and believe I enjoy them? Am I actually taking the time every day in some way to enjoy my children? What does your smartphone use around your kids say to them? This is one of the single greatest obstacles to many dads enjoying their children. They enjoy scrolling their smartphones more than they enjoy their kids!
I urge and implore you, make time every day to enjoy your precious children. They will be grown and gone before you know it, and you will not be able to rewrite their past with you.
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling