Coming Home to Roost

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Often I take the opportunity afforded by special days, such as Father’s Day, to express appreciation and praise for the honored group.  But I want to offer a word of admonition—spend time with your children.

 “How much?” someone asks.  My best response is “Enough.”  Enough to insure they know your love, trustworthiness and faith.  Speaking of God’s laws, Moses said, “Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 6:7).  That takes time—plenty of it.  No quick sermon will fulfill a daily responsibility.

Possibly you’ve found yourself saying, “It’s not the quantity of time but the quality that matters.”  While there may be a degree of insight in this statement, it contains an obvious flaw.  This folk-wisdom cliché sets two necessary ingredients at odds with each other.  We will not apply this cliché to other areas of our life.  It too easily becomes a cop-out.

Sandy and Harry Chapin’s song, Cat’s In The Cradle, expresses one danger of spending too little time with children—i.e., they will not find time for their parents later.  The chorus of the first two verses is the same as the last two except the speaker/recipient have been reversed.  Verse one asks and answers the son’s question, “When you comin’ home, Dad?  I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then—you know we’ll have a good time then.”  Verse three changes after the son goes to college.  Here the father gets the same answer after he asks the boy, “When you comin’ home, Son? I don’t know when, but we’ll have a good time then—you know we’ll have a good time then.”

As country people might say, “The chicken has come home to roost.”  The son lived up to his promise to be just like his father.  Like his dad’s example, he doesn’t have time for those he loves!  Use your time wisely by investing it in those you love!

If you want your family to know they are loved, spend time with them.  Make it quality time but be sure it is quantity too.

John Kenneth King  

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