Friday, 12 September 2014

Daddy's Job

     Coming home one evening after a long, hard day of work, all I wanted to do was plop down in my comfortable chair and relax. But my 4-year-old daughter had other plans. She enthusiastically met me at the door and wanted me to go outside with her and play. I tried to explain that Daddy was really tired and needed to rest awhile, but to her that was just not acceptable. I then suggested we could play a game in the living room while I sat in my chair, but as far as she was concerned, nothing short of running around in the backyard would do. A few more feeble attempts were made to reason with this less-than-patient bundle of energy, when finally in exasperation she exclaimed, "But Daddy, it’s your job!"
     I confess that she caught me off guard with such a profound statement, and my stubborn defense instantly collapsed. She was absolutely right. When I decided to become a parent, I accepted all the accompanying responsibilities, including my personal commitment to never neglect my family. This little girl needed to spend time with her daddy, and I had no right to deprive her of that basic need. With her simple and pointed words, she reminded me that love "does not seek its own" (1 Corinthians 13:5) and that all of my excuses were meaningless.
     Paul admonishes his readers to literally "redeem" the time they have been given (Ephesians 5:15). The word "redeem" means to exchange one thing for another, and since we have our children for only a limited period of time, how are we using that time and what are we exchanging for it? Surely providing for our families (1 Timothy 5:8) involves more than just material necessities. Am I providing love, security, a good example, encouragement, discipline, spiritual leadership, affection, affirmation, and undivided attention?
     To this day, whenever I am tempted to selfishly focus on my own perceived needs at the expense of my children or am distracted from my God-given parental duties, the words of that precious 4-year-old child still ring in my ears: "But Daddy, it’s your job!" That’s all the prompting I need to readjust my focus and get back on track.
     Thank you Lord for our children, from whom we learn so much!
–Kevin L. Moore

*Inspired by my oldest daughter Loren.

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