Making the Most of the Time

Making the Most of the Time

Posted in Craigs Keystone articles

In a vine-covered shack in the mountains

Bravely fighting the battle of time

Is a dear one who’s weathered my sorrows.

‘Tis that silver-haired Daddy of mine.

I know it’s too late dear old Daddy

To repay for those sorrows and cares

Though dear Mother is waiting in heaven

Just to comfort and solace you there.

If I could recall all the heart aches ,

Dear old Daddy, I’ve caused you to bear

If I could erase

Those lines from your face

And bring back the gold to your hair,

If God would but grant me the power

Just to turn back tbe pages of time

I’d give all I own

If I could but atone

To that silver-haired Daddy of mine.

When I heard those lines sung by the Everly Brothers a few weeks ago, I burst into tears. As a father I now know about the unspeakable nightmares I must have put my parents through. I would love to apologise to my Dad, to talk over all the trials I forced on him. But I never even had a chance to say ‘good-bye” to my Dad. He died of sudden heart failure when I was 13. He was 44, same age as I am now. He was one of those dads who worked 10 hours a day, six days a week. Even though I can count on one hand the times he did something with just me out of the five of us kids, I loved him dearly …he was my Dad.

As a door to door salesman I once met a man who said he wasn’t interested in my products and really couldn’t spare the time to have a look since he was nursing his terminally ill wife who had been sent home from the hospital to die. What do you say? I asked him what advice he would give me if I were to find myself in his position. Without hesitation he replied, “Start talking to one another.” Even though they’d been together for years, now that they saw the end was near, they couldn’t find enough time to talk to each other. I wish my Dad had taken the time to talk to me. As a matter of fact I remember how twice just the month before he did, he called into my room just on bedtime to see how my brother and I were doing. He had never done that before. It was neat. Then he was gone.

Time is short, men. Do those things for your family you have been thinking about doing, but keep putting off. Go get ten minutes, OK, make it only five minutes, with one of your children just as they are going to bed. Lying there in the darkness is a good time to re-cap the day, catch up with each other, and you never know what burning questions they may be encouraged to ask. Make it a regular time at least once a week.

Read to them as often as you can. Use times around the dinner table as the opportunity to fulfill your role as prophet, priest and king. When I pray after reading the Scriptures at meal times , I now confess our collective sins, as did Job for his children, and ask the Lord’s forgiveness. As we read though the Scriptures, there is hardly a topic of interest to modern families which is not mentioned. I am tempted to skip parts like the rape of Tamar or the incest of Lot’s daughters, but there it is in the Bible giving me the perfect opportunity to talk about these things with my children. If I have read some outrageous statement or story in the papers I will read it to the children and invite their comments on it. We have some really good discussions that way, and it is especially educational in allowing me to point out the humanistic, pagan thinking in many of these stories and how that differs from Christ-centred thinking. In fact I just read an article which stated that “several studies have found the frequency of family meals together to be a strong predictor of student test scores. “

Time is short, men. Keep short accounts with people. Don’t let the sun go down if you are angry at someone or pushed out of shape because of some kind of problem with another person. Go get it sorted out as soon as you recognise that there is a problem. You may not get another opportunity.

Let me be more specific. Husbands, fathers, it is our responsibility to keep our homes and families running smoothly. It is up to us before God to sort out the problems that arise in family situations, or, see that they get sorted out. The Lord will hold us fathers responsible. We will have to give an account of how we handle the role of head of the household He has delivered unto us.

We have all heard it said that the best thing we could possibly do for our children is to love our wives. You have heard that, I trust. Well, I would like to vouch for it, from our own experience. Not that we are experts in this area or have a whole lot to shout about. But there have been periods of time when I have not had the best of attitudes toward my wife. Not just once but several periods of time. During those times I noticed the children became sulky, unusually disobedient in both frequency and type, less communicative. What is worse, one of the children seemed to be developing his own negative attitude toward my wife, the child’s own mother, simply because he was mirroring my lousy attitude. When my attitude improved and I began to show a lot more respect and consideration toward my wife, the children all improved. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5: 25 ). The benefits of obeying this Scripture extend to our children and their entire home educarion and training.

From Keystone Magazine
November 1995 , Vol. 1 No. 5
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig