The Best Thing To Spend On Your Children Is Your Time By Cynthia Saladin
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)
I’ve heard people say that God is not limited by time. Of course! But that’s not to imply that God does not pay attention to time. In fact, His timing is impeccable. We could talk for hours about the perfect timing of God and what He has done in each of our lives. That being so, I’d guess that God expects us to pay attention to the time He has given us. Now why would I say that? It might just have something to do with my “lambs.”

I used to be ready to dash out the door in five minutes--hair combed neatly, clothes clean and pressed, if needed, with a smile and spring in my step. Then came the first baby. Okay, so now I needed 15 minutes to get my jacket, his coat, my shoes and his shoes, diaper bag, purse, hair combed, and clothes usually clean, but only if it wasn’t too close to feeding time.

Then came the second baby. Now with a toddler and a baby, things got a little more complicated and time-consuming. 

With our third, things are down-right hectic. I used to ask for the earliest possible doctor’s appointment, believing that if I’m the first one on the list, the wait can’t possibly be too long. Now I know that I can’t possibly get all three up, dressed, fed, and out the door before 9 a.m.!! Many times, the spring in my step is weighed down with baby, diaper bag, and whatever. And sometimes the smile is replaced with admonitions to “hurry! We’re going to be late---again!”

For someone who used to teach 20-28 children, organizing and directing, I sometimes find myself wondering how in the world I’m going to convince Jonathan that my time and his time are not in sync at times--and that it really does matter. And Christopher takes his cue from Jonathan. Jennifer, of course, thinks that I couldn’t possibly have anything more important to do than to hold her---which is what I’m doing even as I type this!!!

So, (or Selah* , if you prefer) what is God trying to get across to me? I’m sure you’ve got it already. I’m not slow either, when I take the time to consider this incredible object lesson in front of me.

I like to do things my way, in my time, when I feel like it. I am just as guilty of not having my time in sync with my Heavenly Father’s time and purpose for me as my own children. I am not listening to Him telling me what is most important and what should have the priority in my life. I have too many things occupying my time that really don’t matter---quarter round, paperwork, little projects, you know how the list accrues.

Christopher caught a cold this past week, which developed into two raging ear infections. One night I sat with him on my lap and just rocked him while Jennifer and Jonathan played on the floor in front of me. I cuddled and rocked for about 30 minutes, until Jennifer started fussing and I knew it was time to put her in the bathtub and get her ready for bed. Suddenly Jonathan looked up and told me that he wanted to be sick too---because he wanted to be held like Christopher.

Time and priorities.

I only have one shot at rearing my children to know and love God; I’m the introduction and first chapter in their knowledge of Jesus Christ. What am I teaching them with my management of time? I pray to God for wisdom that He will gently guide me in getting my priorities straight; that I don’t over commit to things that really don’t matter; that I take the time always to put God first in my life; that I always make sure my children know they are precious blessings from my Heavenly Father who loves them far more than I ever could….

“Teach me to number my days that I may present a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12 Author‘s paraphrase.)

*“Selah” is an editorial word in the Psalms that may mean “to pause.”