Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Family Time

First of all, I again want to thank each and everyone for their prayers, letters, emails, texts, phone calls, and about any other way you can communicate to us your love and prayers for my father and our family.
I just got off the phone with my mother, and she said that dad was having a very good day and that he continues to progress well. I know I have said it before, but this is nothing short of a miracle. God has shown Himself mighty once more!
When I returned from Kansas, I studied and rested Saturday, preached all day Sunday, then went to teen camp for the week. I have been playing "catch up" here in my office these last few days, and finally feel somewhat 'back in the saddle.'
I figured it was time to get back on track writing our blog as well. I told Bro. Carr the sabbatical was over and he would have to write this weekend. So, here we go....
We only have four weeks left of writing on this topic. We will cover three questions from our questionnaire this week. That will leave only two more questions. We then will take the fourth week to summarize our findings. I have begun to read "Already Gone" by Ken Ham (can not endorse the book as of yet, but realize it is on the same topic we are attempting to study-thus far I have found it a good read)(can you believe he stole my idea? What a mean guy!)
Just joking AIG fans!
This week we look at the area of Family Time. Some of the most precious memories I have is of family time while growing up (which by the way, you can read stories of at the following blog: http://spaceadventuresofking.blogspot.com/) Sadly, for many, some of the worst memories they have are of 'family time.' Some daily try to escape those memories, but this does not/should not have to be for the Christian's home. Here are the three questions we shall examine:
I believe if my dad had his choice, he would spend a free evening:
A. At home with his family 68%
B. Out with His friends 9%
C. At work for overtime for more money 23%

If you had only one activity all month at church, would you prefer it to be:
A. Family activity 19%
B. Youth activity 60%
C. Boys only/girls only activity 8%
D. Don't matter, I would skip it 13%

I would describe 'family time' as:
A. Recreation 38%
B. Boring 9%
C. At Church 6%
D. Vacation 27%
E. Non existent in our home 20%

Let us begin with the first question. The majority of our teens feel that if their fathers could, they would be at home with the family on a free night. Wonderful! I believe this is the way it should be. Granted, 23% at the time felt their dad would volunteer for overtime to make more money, but overall this was a pleasant response. (not sure how the current national economic condition would affect this). Recently I was speaking to a man who had asked about my father's health condition. He then told me how that it was a difficult time when his father died, but not near as bad as when his mother died. Thankfully I have never experienced either, but the man went on to say that "Dad always worked every hour he could get. He was never home. Even when he wasn't working, he did everything he could to stay away from the house...yard work, hobby, painting, friends...we never saw him. I had a much closer relationship with my mother." Praise the Lord for Godly mothers! Had this been a lady I was speaking to, it would not have struck me as it did. Children need their fathers! Believe me, I know the men must work and should be the main 'money makers' of the home (sorry ladies, your 'careers' aren't found in Scripture). I know men should handle the 'manly' chores at home. It is the spirit of neglect that too many fathers show toward their children...the lack of a desire to spend time with them.
It is fathers that can 'provoke their children to wrath.' Fathers who are supposed to teach their children the statues and ways of the Lord. Deut. 6 teaches that it is the fathers that do these things. Spend time with your children.
I took Alex with me to Kansas those few weeks. Why? Not so he would see my father in the shape he was in, but I saw it as an opportunity to spend time with my son. I took Grace out Saturday 'garage saleing'. We had a wonderful time. Why? Not because we needed more junk, but I saw it as an opportunity to spend time with my daughter. Fathers, may we take our God given role seriously and desire to spend time with our children.
The second question's results taught us that our teens would desire, if given the choice, a monthly youth activity at church greatly more than a family activity. We've already spoken on this before, but I believe churches are much to blame for the constant divisions of families. Church should be a unifier of the home, not a divider. We split up for Sunday School, have youth, children's, young couples, college age, and senior citizen activities every month; we have an academy, sports, and competitions to practice for. The family is never together. We have strove the past year to involve the parents more. I wish more parents would get involved. I encourage youth pastors to include the parents in their activities to help build the home.
Our third question dealt with 'family time.' Again, how I cherish family time memories while growing up, and so enjoy making them with my wife and children. We need family time. Family time should be recreational, educational, vacations, at church, at home, in the car, around a pond, on a trail, in a creek, soul winning, bus routes, visitation-LIFE. Sadly, 20% of our teens felt it was non existent in their homes, and nearly 10% felt they had it but that it was boring.
Family time, in my opinion, is not an event or a Tuesday night. Family time should be life. When family time is reduced to an evening or a trip, we are saying that our life and business is the priority. Our family should be our priority. Whether I am going soul winning, yard work, taking a vacation, eating dinner, enjoying a hobby, going to church, or enjoying a free evening...it's family time!
May God give us strong families and the desire to make our time, family time.