“I can’t do it.” “I just don’t have enough time.” “I’m too busy right now.”
Does that sound familiar to you? I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve uttered those phrases in the past. We often busy ourselves so much that we don’t have time for important things. Health clubs, social activities, work, shopping, hobbies, friends, etc. seem to take up most of our precious time.
This busy syndrome seems to have no boundaries. When asked if they have studied their SS lesson, youth often reply, “I have too much homework” or “I am too involved with extra curricular activities.” And so I ask, “How about reading a chapter in the Bible so we can have some dynamic discussions next week?” I receive the same answers. Some seem programmed to think that there is not enough time for personal study of the Scriptures.
Busy is good. God wants us to be busy. Proverbs 19:15 “Laziness casts one into a deep sleep (not awake for Christ), and an idle person will suffer hunger (lack of spiritual food).” The questions are: What are we busy doing? Where is our time spent? Is it in daily prayer, family worship, Bible reading? Only an extremely small percentage of our youth actually have family worship. The church can only do so much to enrich the life of our youth. Most influence starts at the home. In a recent survey of 10,000 teenagers, the largest percentage of influence they had in life came from their parents. Youth pastors and youth leaders were near the bottom of the scale.
Preparing our children for eternity should always be the main focus. I am not suggesting moving to a remote location and waiting on some rock for Christ to come. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Your children learn from your behavior. Show them the love of Christ through your interaction with them. Provide them the example of which they are to follow by spending time with them, especially in spiritual things. Your children will either obtain eternal life or eternal darkness. The route they choose will be their decision, but they need influence in understanding that this world is temporary and what Christ has for us on the horizon is eternal. Phil. 3:20 gives us our direction – “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Having enough time is not necessarily the problem. It may be about priorities. Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The Bible also says in 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Do you want your children to experience the love of the Father? Then I would suggest that this world not be your top priority. Show them that eternal things are the most important.
Preparing your children for eternal life is the most precious thing you can do for them. Not only will they be thankful to you as they grow older, but they will be thanking you when they get to walk and talk with Jesus in the new kingdom.