We are bombarded by parenting resources that tell us to spend quality time investing in our children. What does “quality time” mean? Well the truth is: it’s all relative. In other words, there’s no standard on how to do this correctly.
Though there are many resources and in-laws who speak great wisdom into the “how” on family investment, my focus has moved away from “how” we do it, and now centers on the “why.” I think if we get the “why” figured out, the “how” will come much more naturally. So, why is quality time with our children important?
Because your family needs you to be there.
No, your mere presence isn’t enough. Altogether using multiple screens while being in the same room can’t be the yardstick by which we measure. If that’s the standard, then Uncle Marty’s ashes on the mantle are doing a wonderful job as a father.
Being present – actively engaging and listening (yes, listening) is key. Presence means the relationship is giving and receiving. You’ve heard it said, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This is absolutely true.
Because your parents set an example.
They may or may not have set a good example. In many cases, we learn great ways to do things like parenting. However, in some cases, we learn what not to do. Maybe your parents weren’t the best, and you fear not being able to overcome what they were. You aren’t defined by your parents.
In case your upbringing was a rough one, be encouraged: without struggle, there is no strength. We often find our strongest motivators born out of heartache and disappointment.
Because God gave you a mission field within four walls.
The ultimate example of a perfect father is chronicled throughout the 66-books we refer to as the Bible. “But he allowed his son to die on a cross.” I remind you that God had his other children (you) in mind when Christ was crucified, and Jesus went to that cross willingly.
The “how” takes on many different forms, but the “why” hasn’t changed in the past 6,200 years. While some are guilty of making every excuse in the world to get out of family time, our heavenly Father destroyed every wall and left no stone unturned, including the one in front of his own son’s grave. He did this to ensure that our quality time with Him would always be available. What better example is there than the one who is the standard for quality? And oh, by the way, he created time.
In short, if we want our time to be quality time, then why not draw close to the One who manufactures quality, created time, and desires strongly to be in an authentic relationship with His own children – us. That’s why.