爸爸们,你的孩子需要你重质和重量的时间 (Dads Your Children Need both Quality and Quantity Time With You)

当我们的孩子很小的时候,我正在读他们的圣经故事,教堂里的某个人打来了一个“重要的”电话。实际上,那电话是可以等到第二天的。那么,接听电话或结束故事并与我的孩子一起祈祷,哪个更重要?我意识到我的错误。 从那天起,我就确定,除了真正的紧急情况之外,我再也不会脱离和孩子们圣经故事和祷告时间了。

有时,“重质时间”的想法成为一个不重量时间陪伴孩子的方式的理由。爸爸们(这也适用于妈妈们),如果你已经花了很多时间陪伴孩子,当然要专注于质量。但是,如果你没有花足够的时间陪伴孩子,或者经常被分心而烦恼,请不要尝试通过将微不足道的时间称为“优质”来弥补这一损失。在家停留仅仅足够的时间,而在再次起飞之前掉下“智慧之珠”,这是不自然的。

我们不仅需要与我们的妻子和孩子面对面交流,当我们专注于工作,娱乐或事工时,我们需要并肩的时间。去看望那些有病和有需要的人,会对孩子留下深刻的印象,并培养事工的心态。看到贫穷和疾病会扩大他们的世界并扩大他们的心。还能培养了他们所拥有的个人感激之心境,而不是使我们的文化成败的更为普遍的应享精神。 

我们与孩子们九岁和七岁时所做的最具有灵命上影响力的事情之一就是带他们去六个国家进行为期两个月的旅程,我们在那儿拜访了传教士。 23年后,我们仍在谈论那趟旅程。

那次访问长远的结果是什么?我们在一起度过重量和重质的时间促使我们讨论世界的需求以及上帝托付给我们的钱去哪里,其中一些是我们去过的地方。即使在今天,优质的时间也结出了硕果,因为我会定期请求我们的女儿和他们的家人帮忙决定从我的书中分配版税。随着我们的孙子们长大了,我们也计划让他们参与分配版税。 如果我们没有做出大胆的决定来扎根自己,并与我们的孩子一起出国度过这两个月的生活,我想那么这一切都不会实现。 

一种澄清:一些父亲可能会感到内疚,因为他们努力工作以养家糊口,并且无法像他们所希望的那样与孩子在一起。努力工作并赚钱照顾家人是一件伟大和符合圣经教导的事。 我做到了,我很高兴听到父亲也这样做。 我也花了很多时间陪伴孩子。 

但是,当我谈论父亲需要花更多时间陪伴他们的孩子时,我是针对那些没有花很多时间陪伴孩子(很多人没有陪伴孩子)的父亲,因为他们总是在工作 —— 或 打高尔夫球,看电视,看他们的手机或其他东西(当然,工作,高尔夫,电视和手机本身并不是错误的)。

爸爸们在履行圣经规定的抚养子女的任务时,还应确保他们离家不远(或在家中与他们被动分离),以至于他们忽视了一个甚至比工作场所更高的呼召 —— 把自己的生命投资在孩子身上。 (当然,这并没有保证的公式或结果,敬虔的父亲可以生反叛的孩子。)

育儿和工作需要一个艰难的平衡,在这个平衡中,我们必须呼吁主寻求智慧和力量,但是我们仍然被命令去做:“你们作父亲的,不要惹儿女的气,只要照着主的教训和警戒养育他们 。”(以弗所书6:4)。为了“养育他们”,我们必须和他们在一起大量的时间。 这可以帮助他们避免憎惡我们,因为如果我们与他们在一起只是为了纠正他们,他们就会这样做。 

因此,爸爸们有圣经的使命,就是要抚养孩子,并花时间在他们身上。圣经有一项任务就是要努力为你的家人提供生活。 只要确保你的工作承诺不会掩盖你为孩子准备的工作。请记住,赚钱满足孩子的需求与满足孩子的所有需求并不相同。 与你的孩子在一起度过的时间无可替代,你全神贯注的精力也无可替代。 

最重要的是,他们需要的是主,并被他们的天父所吸引。 但这将极大地帮助他们拥有一个充满恩典和真理的慈爱,圣洁和天上有思想的地上父亲。 

有关父亲的更多信息,请参阅兰迪的小说《勇气》和《男人的决心》。


Dads, Your Children Need Both Quality and Quantity Time with You

When our children were small, I was reading them a Bible story and an “important” phone call came from someone in the church. In fact, the call could have waited until the next day. So which was more important, taking that call, or finishing the story and praying with my children? I realized my error. From that day I determined I would never be pulled away from Bible story and prayer time with my children by anything less than a true emergency.

Sometimes the idea of “quality time” is a way of justifying not spending quantity time with children. Dads (and much of this applies to moms too), if you’re already spending lots of time with your kids, by all means focus on quality. But if you’re not spending enough time with your kids, or constantly being pulled away by distractions, don’t try to compensate by making your meager time “quality.” It will be unnatural to land at home just long enough to drop your “pearls of wisdom” before taking off again.

We don’t just need more face-to-face time with our wife and children; we need shoulder-to-shoulder time when we are focused on things like work, play, or ministry. Going to visit the sick and needy makes a great impression on children and cultivates a ministry mindset. Seeing poverty and sickness widens their world and enlarges their hearts. It also fosters a spirit of personal gratitude for what they have, rather than the more prevalent spirit of entitlement that poisons our culture.

One of the most spiritually impactful things we did with our children, when they were nine and seven, was take them on a two-month trip to six countries, where we visited missionaries. Twenty-three years later, we still talk about that trip.

What were the long-term results of that mission trip? The quantity and quality time we spent together prompted us to discuss world needs and where to send the money God entrusted to us, some to of the very places we visited. Even today that quality time bears fruit, as I periodically ask our daughters and their families to help decide where to distribute the royalties from my books. As our grandchildren get older, we plan to involve them in distributing the royalties. I’m not sure any of that would have come about if we hadn’t made the bold decision to uproot ourselves and go overseas with our children for that life-changing two months.

One clarification: Some dads might feel guilty because they work hard to support their families and can’t be at home with their kids as much as they might like. Working hard and making money to care for your family is a great and biblical thing. I did it, and I’m glad to hear about dads who do it too. I also spent a lot of time with my kids.

But when I’m talking about the need for dads to spend more quantity time with their kids, I’m addressing dads who do not spend plenty of time with their kids (and many don’t) because they are always gone working—or golfing or watching TV or looking at their phones or whatever (and of course the point isn’t that work, golf, TV, and phones in and of themselves are wrong).

Dads, while fulfilling the biblical mandate to provide for their children, should also make sure they’re not away from home so much (or so passively detached from them while at home) that they neglect a calling even higher than the workplace—being there to invest their lives in their children. (Of course, there is no guaranteed formula or outcome, and godly fathers can have rebellious children.)

Fathering and vocation require a difficult balance, in which we must call upon the Lord for wisdom and strength, but we are commanded to do it nonetheless: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). We must be with them a substantial amount of time in order to “bring them up.” This helps them not to resent us, as they will if we’re with them only to correct them.

So dads, there’s a biblical mandate to raise your kids and invest time in them to do so. And there’s a biblical mandate to work hard to provide for your family. Just make sure that your work commitments don’t overshadow your need to be there for your kids. And remember that making enough money to provide for your children’s needs is not the same as providing for all their wants. There is no substitute for time spent with your children, and no substitute for your undivided attention.

More than anything, what they need is the Lord, and to be drawn to their heavenly Father. But it will help them immensely to have a loving, holy, and heavenly-minded earthly father, who is full of grace and truth.

For more on being a dad, see Randy's novel Courageous and the book The Resolution for Men.

 

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of fifty-some books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries