By Larry Ray Hafley
In order to provide for a child, parents must take time with their children. It is not a mother’s job alone. Though a godly mother likely will spend more time with a child, both parents must be involved. Both must give of their time. Mom, Dad, are you doing it? Are you setting aside time for your children? Do you listen to them? Do you re- ally hear them? Do you let them know that their feelings, their wants and wishes, are important and will be given fair consideration? Or, do you ignore them? Do you usually tell them to “go away,” or “go outside and play,” or, worse yet, do you say, “Leave me alone”?
A child senses whether he is loved or whether he is sim ply being tolerated. Sometimes we blame “bad” children and say, “I don’t understand him! I gave him everything!” Yes, you may have given him everything he needed except for the one thing he needed most — that is, you and your time. My friend, if you are “too busy” to take even a few precious minutes with your child, you are too busy! See Proverbs 31:10-31 and Ephesians 6:1-4.
Would you abandon your child in a wilderness and force him to make it on his own? Of course not! Yet, when we neglect to give our children time, when we fail to give our attention to them and refuse to hear the expressions of their tender hearts, we are forsaking and deserting them, leaving them to wander along the highway of life.
Perhaps this poem by Stan Gebhart will touch you and help you to see the importance of giving yourself to your dear ones.
I looked at you and smiled the other day. I thought you’d see me, but you didn’t.
I said, “I love you,” and waited for what you would say. I thought you’d hear me, but you didn’t.
I asked you to come outside and play ball with me. I thought you’d follow me, but you didn’t.
I drew a picture just for you to see.
I thought you’d save it, but you didn’t. I made a fort for us back in the woods.
I thought you’d camp with me, but you didn’t.
I found some worms ’n such for fishing if we could. I thought you’d want to go, but you didn’t.
I needed you to talk to, my thoughts to share. I thought you’d want to, but you didn’t.
I told you about the game, hoping you’d be there. I thought you’d surely come, but you didn’t.
I asked you to share my youth with me.
I thought you’d want to, but you couldn’t.
My country called me to war. You asked me to come home safely, But I didn’t.
Now, dear mom and dad, will you find some time today to share with your children and give them the greatest gift you could ever give them — yourself?