Baseball is over for the evening, the yard has been mowed, the dog has been trained, dance classes instructed by my wife are over, dance pictures are finished, the supper dishes are done, showers are taken, and we are sitting in the living room as a family. It is 8:42 and this is the first time, since the morning routine, that we have all been in the same room. It was a good day, a successful day, a fun day (school picnic day), a busy day, a stressful day, but it was still a good day. I want to hear about the picnic, how the dance costumes looked, while mentally thinking through my coaching decisions during the baseball game (they are 8 and 9, really?) and at the same time attempting to be intentional with the last few moments of the day. I am guessing that we are not the only family that meets itself coming and going. We are not the only family that has to either eat supper at 4:30 or 8:30. We are not the only family that skips shower night because it is just one more thing to manage. Never fear, summer is coming and all schedules and responsibilities no longer matter.
There was one word in the above paragraph that I would like to revisit for a moment. “Intentional.” How are we going to be intentional about not going on a summer vacation from Jesus? How are we going to be intentional in our small moments of conversation to model the love of Christ? How are we going to be intentional in our schedules and priorities? How are we as parents going to be intentional in saying “no” to some good things, so that we can say “yes” to the best things?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love baseball, I love dance (watching it), I love getting things done. However, what price is my family paying? I realize how old I am, due to the fact that one of my own children is now in my program. Am I modeling what I encourage others to do? Am I being intentional? Am I intentionally getting in the word with my children and helping the Bible make sense to their everyday? Am I leading my wife and loving her like Christ loved the Church in Ephesians 5:25 “and gave himself up for her.”
To be totally transparent, there are some nights that I think my brain is leaking out of my left ear. I have no more words and my thoughts are so distracted due to what I had to handle throughout the day. Guess what? My kids don’t know that, and they wouldn’t know how to respond if I did unload my day on them. They need me to pray with them. They need me to remind them about how they are made in the image of God. They need to know that there is nothing that they can do that will cause me to love them any less, because that is how God sees his children, myself included.
Our children need their parents in the stands to cheer for them. Our children need parents to haul them around to their various activities. Our children need their parents to be involved and engaged in their lives. Our children also need parents to lead them to Jesus through example, repetition and love, even during the summer.
Learning to be intentional,