As some of you might know from my poem My Son, I view children as Gifts from God and we parents as temporary custodians. This is a true story……
Many years ago, my wife and I were very active in church and involved in several ministries. At one point, over a period of 3 years, we used to spend 3 weekday evenings and most of Sundays involved in church activities.
One late Sunday afternoon, we returned home and found our 3 children waiting for us. Apparently, they had been discussing among themselves and complained that we were never around when they needed us.
In essence, they debunked that oft heard ‘quality time’ argument that some working parents hid behind. This post is not to criticize that argument but to share what worked for us.
We requested some time to wind up our commitments in church and plunged into the greatest ministry of all – the Ministry of Family.
The parish priest and many parishioners coaxed us to return, both subtly and overtly. We held fast…and seeing how our children turned out…we have no regrets about making GOD wait.
I believe, unlike our local parish, HE understood.
We should be able to have that quality time with our children even at church, unfortunately most of the main stream churches are so formalistic and ritualistic that young people don’t see the God of fellowship there. When that happens the next best thing is to provide that fellowship in the safe environment of the home alone. Children are our primary mission and we have them for but a short span of time to provide the nurture to help them adjust when they have to deal with the bad old world all by themselves.
I’m a firm believer in Our Lord and God!
I also frown on all the excesses and abuses of men and women, purportedly holy. I’ve witnessed too much hypocrisy – not only in my parish but also in several parishes in Singapore, Malaysia and elsewhere. These people do a great disservice to God.
You’re so right, Ian – our children are our primary mission. Our responsibilities towards our children change but never end. How well we discharge this responsibility will be reflected by how well they become part of society and remain close to God.
As parents, I believe you and your wife have done very well, Ian. Lisa and I continue to do the best we can. Ultimately, that’s all that is expected of us, I reckon – to do the best we can.
Peace and blessings,
Wonderful post, Eric. I almost missed it, but saw it in the ‘related’ post fields below. Like you I feel we can become too busy with what we think is what God wants from us. Family time should come first as God blessed us and created them for us to love, and raise. My husband Wayne and I are now retired, but though we have jumped in and embarked on new ministries in our church (working with small home study groups), we made a promise and commitment to our girls and grandchildren that they still come first. Our family is special quality time devoted.to making it memorable. One of the things recently I had to really pray about lately was whether to get involved in leading a small group and it is going to be a ‘writers’ group, called ‘Kingdom Writers’ which is why my recent writing has taken a new direction. But, is a direction I believe God will bless. My best to you all as a husband, and father and enjoy the break and sabbatical. 🙂 You are an inspiration to many others and you and Lisa will be blessed.
Thank you for clicking so far back – I appreciate this.
Well, my three children are all adults now and as you say – our relationship has evolved. We’re glad not to have missed much of their growing up years.
They are not only very close to one another – they simply love being home. Their joy is obvious and infectious.
Wish you all the very best with your circle of writers.
As you might know, I’m also leading a small group of writers – but unlike yours, these are aspiring authors and I’m helping to get them published. You could click on my MeetUp group – see the image on the left hand side bar.
Thanks Eric, I will. Our girls too are grown up (44 and 36) with two kids each. The twins, boy and girl (our oldest girl’s kids) are 21 and our younger girl’s kids, boy and girl also, are 3 & 6. When you become a grandparent the joy and time with them is equally special and precious, and we relish every moment with them.
You only have 1 chance raising your kids, thank goodness for the greatest gift a family has, forgiveness.
Very true – only one chance.
It is sad to see parents missing out and regretting it for the rest of their lives but sometimes, they simply don’t have a choice.
You did not make God wait dear one, you just changed the venue!
Blessings to you and your family~
Though we feel we did right, it is always satisfying to receive affirmation. Thank you.
All good wishes upon you and yours Sunny.
Eric, I like your style of writing and poetry.
On your blog “God Can Wait” ~ I too work for the Church. During my younger years while we still had children at home I told our priest that I had to leave my job and spend that time with my children before they leave home. In my mind I don’t find it sacreligious to say that when we are giving of our time and our lives to our children; the gifts God has given us, then in a sense this is our liturgy. We are giving of ourselves just as God expects. After all these children, these gifts, need care, love and nurture; discipline and guidance. Now that our children have children of their own I have returned to that church to give of myself there.
God bless you and your work.
Dear Sandy, Thank you for your visit and kind words about my writing.
Choices you have made freely and very well, I reckon. Thank you for this wonderful sharing and bless your service to God.