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。
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.