In a previous post, I wrote about the need for leaders to sacrifice the right things. We can’t do everything. Something has to go. And what cannot go is the gospel.
Not even two hours after I hit the “publish” button, it hit me that this isn’t just a leader issue. It is also a parenting issue. My kids are old. I know many of you who read this have older kids than mine. Mine are just 13, 11, and 6. But there are days I look at them and wonder where in the world the time has gone. I see Facebook memories and cannot figure out how these middle schoolers replaced my babies. The adage is true: “The days are long, but the years are short.”
In my thirteen years of parenting, one thing I’ve definitely realized is that sacrifice is a part of every single day. We sacrifice many things to parent these littles. Sleep, sanity, the last cookie. We spend lots of money. We go to Chuck E. Cheese. We sacrifice a lot.
But the same question must be asked. Are we making the right sacrifices? If you’re like me, the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.
- We sacrifice face-to-face time with our kid because we have our face in a screen.
- We sacrifice sitting down together for dinner so we can work late.
- We sacrifice a family vacation because we are too busy with ministry.
- We sacrifice conversation in the car while kids are on screens.
- We sacrifice church for the ballfield.
- We sacrifice going to ballgames because we are serving other families.
- We sacrifice gospel conversations for a few minutes of peace and quiet.
My goal here is not guilt. Parent-guilt is rampant enough and is something we all struggle with. Years ago I read Andy Stanley’s book Choosing to Cheat. The premise is that you are always going to be cheating something. Or as I have worded it, you will be making a sacrifice somewhere. He challenges readers to choose their guilt wisely. None of us are going to make the right choice every time. I’m not calling you to beat yourself up. I just want you to pause and think. The years are short. Really, truly short. In what areas, am I, as a parent, not making the right sacrifices?
What really matters a hundred years from now is if my kids know Jesus. What really is going to make a difference in their future is my investment in them knowing and living and breathing the gospel. And that comes just as much through the small moments as the big ones. It comes through me putting down the phone and looking my kid in her eyes when she’s telling me something. It comes through long first grader stories that seem to have no end. It comes from choosing 10 minutes less tv and 10 minutes more of reading God’s word together. It comes from
What do you need to sacrifice so that your focus can be more centralized on your children knowing the gospel.