The Hardships and the Fruits of investing in your Kids
As you’ve probably read in this post, we have a family bed – well it has grown beyond one bed as our family has grown, but we do sleep in one room. There was a time the oldest two were sleeping in their own room and they did very well. However, after a while they missed our closeness. For this reason we went back to sleep as a family in the same room. Currently, we have a custom-made double/double bunk bed which we luckily found over the internet. Right next to that we have another standard bed., so this creates enough space for the six of us to sleep comfortably while still being close to each other – like a pack of wolves.
Well, for our going-to-bed ritual, I use to lie in bed with the kids to tell them an improvised story, then I pray for them and stay a little with them, as they fall asleep – or at least that’s the plan. Sometimes they have a hard time falling asleep, and they want to cuddle. Now, after a day of hard work, followed by an evening where I try to be present for my family, it’s often not the first thing I would like to do, when – with ending that prayer – I’m “finished” with my paternal obligations.
In these moments all I yearn for is a moment for myself. So, the last few days I’ve often found myself grabbing my smartphone to read something, while I lie in bed, next to my cuddle-longing children. A war of thoughts emerged in my mind during these times..:
“They have me, after all..”,
“But is it really the same as if I would actively cuddle with them..?”,
“I just WANT a moment for myself..isn’t this my right? Isn’t this my legitimate need..?”,
“But what if I wouldn’t live for another day..? Wouldn’t it be worth it, to spend these additional minutes close to them?”
Maybe you have found yourself with these kinds of thoughts before.
Well, in the end, I think balance is the key here. Still, I’ve come to realize, that every second you actively invest in your kids will never come back empty. The more of your time and efforts you invest in your loved ones, the easier – and thus the less nerve-straining for you – your relationship with them will be.
Our biggest one is the textbook example for this case. He was sooooo clinging when he was a baby. You could hardly put him on the ground. He always wanted to be with mommy, always in the baby-carrier during daytime and always right next to us during the night. This went on for at least the first two years of his life. Today, he is about as self-reliant as you can imagine. I’m absolutely confident that every single minute we invested into his life added up to this.
So this is why, today, I know that every minute I invest in one of the kids is going to reap fruit in their life, while the hours I do stuff on the smartphone are often leading to nothing.
This truth about investment and fruit helps me set my priorities straight again and again. God, my wife, the kids and then the business or ministry, in this order. It’s easily said, but not always that easy to accomplish. For me, it’s an ongoing process. But it’s so worth it to stay at it. Because if I have the order right, each priority I have right will set me free to do more for the next priority.
Are you ready to spend this extra minute with your kids?