Posts Tagged ‘children’

250 Toys in 260 Weeks…really?

February 2, 2011

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I remember one evening getting up in the middle of the evening to go into another room in our house.  Lighting was scarce.  My steps were short and slow.  With small kids you never know what got left on the floor to inflict pain you can’t describe.  And then it happened…a pain shot up my leg as if I had stepped on a scorpion.  But, it wasn’t live.  It was a toy from our favorite fast food restaurant.  I’m sure I let something slip out that wasn’t Christian or family-rated.  Ahhh…I remember those days.

Toys.  Our kids had toys.  More than they ever needed or played with long term.  I wish I had marked each toy with something that indicated how many times they actually got picked up and used.  This morning during a men’s gathering at our church called, The Battle, Tim Lundy illustrated our love for “stuff” by sharing this statistic…by the time our children enter Kindergarten they’ve had, on average, about 250 toys.  When they are 260 weeks old, they have had nearly a toy a week.  Wow.  The sad thing is that many times those toys were only played with by the children, if they were played with at all.  When you add a Dad to the mix, the toy is no longer the central piece of the story.  When Dad is available to make those toys come alive, memories occur.

So, Dad, what if you went home tonight and took one of those old toys (or made something up) and began to draw near to your child?  Can’t you see the smile now?  Have some fun.  Role play.  Card play.  Yell.  Roar.  But don’t let your children live with the memory years from now that the toys in their life created pain—a representation of a substitute for time with dad and a fathers pain of a late night misstep.  Time…not toys.

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Connecting With Your Kids Series: #3- Non-Negotiables

March 25, 2010

I don’t know how many times I heard Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, speak, but I do remember he only had a few messages. Keep Christ as your first love. Help fulfill the Great Commission. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. And as he got older, he also added in prayer and fasting. That’s it.

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Bill Bright knew who he was and what God had called him to do. That allowed him to focus on the non-negotiables. There’s tremendous power in that.

When it comes to connecting with your kids, here are a couple non-negotiables and another that’s working for me. Maybe it’ll work for you, too.

1. Grow in your relationship with God. Make this your #1 priority. Ultimately, you want to not only connect with your kids, but you want to help them connect with God. If you aren’t growing in Him, you can’t do this. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar. You just need to be seeking Him. Are you?

2. Grow in your relationship with your wife. After your relationship with the Lord, your marriage is your highest priority. Not your kids. Not your job. Not golf. Not hunting. It’s your wife. How does this help connect with your kids? Well, take your marriage to the opposite extreme: divorce. Connecting with your kids becomes a lot tougher when you don’t live with their mother. Do your kids know your wife is your highest priority after God? Does your wife know?

3. Spend money to connect. My oldest daughter is visiting us this week from southern California. Her husband is a Marine and she’s taking online courses toward her college degree. They live in a small, but expensive apartment. In other words, money is tight. Of course, my wife and I are both in ministry, so money has always been a little tight for us, too.

And yet, I purchased the plane ticket for Rachel to visit us. Was it in our budget? No. Did it make things a little tighter? Yeah. Could I have used that money to reduce some debt. Sure. But I suspect in twenty years, I won’t regret whatever money I spent that allowed me to connect with my kids. Actually, I don’t even regret it now.

Bottom line: don’t worry so much about how to connect with your kids. Focus instead on being someone they’d actually want to connect with.

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Father’s Day Fast Forward

June 19, 2009

Leary, Gregg and I have shared some memories of our dads over the past three posts. Some to be cherished. Lessons learned. Sadness revisited. The role of the father in the family is powerful. As father’s we want to leave a legacy to our children that will make a difference in their lives for good and build into the legacies they’ll leave to their children and their children’s children. We will take turns sharing the things we hope our children remember us for long past Father’s day!

Gregg Stutts-

The year is 2046. I pass away just a few months before my 61st wedding anniversary. I can’t complain though. I’d asked God to bless me with 60 years of marriage and He did. And now He has graciously allowed me to listen in to my memorial service. My children are about to share…

“I want to thank my dad for loving and serving my mom so well and for helping her become all God wanted her to be. Because I saw what my parents had, I knew what kind of marriage I wanted to have.”

“My dad’s natural bent was to worry and be anxious, but I saw him worry less and less over the years. He never stopped in his pursuit to believe God, not his circumstances. He showed me what it looked like to truly experience the peace of God no matter what was going on in his life.”

“My dad was full of grace. I always knew he loved me and accepted me unconditionally. He never stopped encouraging and affirming me for who I was, not just for what I did.”

“Most of you probably don’t know this, but my dad was pretty weird. He did and said a lot of funny things. Well, at least he thought they were funny. We just thought he was weird. He really enjoyed life and loved making himself laugh.”

May God grant me 60 years of marriage and may I be this kind of man.

Knee Pads Required

March 25, 2009

Growing up in a home that was irreligious (not anti-Christian, just no evidence of faith lived out), the practices of faith were never expressed in a way that I would catch them.  Prayer was not an everyday practice except for the mealtime ritual speed mumbling of “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest.  And let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen”.  We usually said that so fast that I don’t know if I really knew what I was praying until I just wrote them above.  It sounded more like, “Comelordjesus be-r-guest andletthesegiftstousbeblessed.  Amen.”

Needless to say, the power of this prayer was probably lost in translation. When I came to a personal relationship with Christ at the ripe age of 17, I began to understand the part Prayer played (and plays) in a relationship with God.  (more…)

Of Mustaches and Orange Hair

March 5, 2009

My 16-year-old daughter recently asked if she could dye her hair orange.

“Sure,” I said.

“I’m not going to do it. I just wanted to know what you would say,” she said.

About a week later, my 13-year-old son asked if he could grow a mustache.

“Sure,” I replied.

The fact that he physically can’t grow one right now is besides the point.

I’ll admit that on the lenient-strict continuum, Robyn and I tend toward the lenient side. We don’t have lots of rules, set schedules or even a consistent list of chores. (more…)