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Cultivate Focused Time

Updated: Mar 18


I once heard a preacher say, “Wherever you are, be all there.”  He was talking mainly about your station in life.  Whatever job you're doing, focus on that job.”

 

As the years go by, I believe this is especially good advice for parents.  For as long as I can remember, there has always been a debate between quality time versus quantity time.  In reality, I think we all know you need both.

 

Increasingly, however, I have come to believe we need focused time.  Focused time is time when parents are just present with their kids.  It is time when parents are all there no matter where they are. 


Focused time communicates love and value.  It lets them know that, in that moment, nothing is more important than they are to you.

 

We have all experienced what it is like when someone is there but not really mentally present.  We know what it is like to have a conversation with someone who does not look up from their phone and simply grunts a response to questions.  We have all been irked by the guy who talks to us while looking for the person he would rather talk to.

 

We have experienced this, and we hate it.  Yet, how often are we guilty of doing the same things to those we love the most?

 

How does that make our children feel?  What does that say about their value in our eyes?  Yes, I know life is busy.  Work is filled with pressure.  Things are crazy hard.  Nevertheless, our kids deserve focused time.


So, how can we have more focused time?  Here are a few tips.


Tip #1 - Learn to Leave Work at Work


I once heard of a man who hammered a nail by the front door of his house.  Every day when he walked past that nail after work, he mentally hung up the stuff from the work day and left it at the door.  Your job is what you do, and it is important.  But your job is not who you are.  Only you can be a parent to those kids, and being a parent requires focus. So, leave work at the door and be home when you are home.


Tip #2 - Minimize Digital Distractions


You don’t really need to know what Taylor Swift is wearing.  You don’t need to know what fallen superstar is trending.  And you sure as shootin' don’t need to know what your neighbor is eating.  So, put the phone down and pay attention to the people in front of you.


Tip #3 - Learn to Lift Burdens


When you get home, find a way to lift burdens from your family.  Do the kids need help with homework?  Does your spouse need some support?  Does someone need to talk?  Don the servant's robe when you get home and watch how God uses that to create connections with those you love the most.


Tip #4 - Be Fun to Live With


Too many parents are the life of the party with friends but death to the party at home. According to Proverbs 17:22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." Pastor Dave Stone once said, "Humor can be like a breath of fresh air to a person who has been underwater for a minute." Your kids are under more pressure than you know. Social pressures are real. Academic challenges are just that - challenges.


Your laughter can change the tone.


"Humor can be like a breath of fresh air to a person who has been underwater for a minute." ~ Pastor Dave Stone

So, learn to laugh loud, to laugh often, and to laugh with your children.


These are just a few of the things you can do to give focused time to your family.  Don’t let my list limit you.  Create your own.  Do whatever it takes and remember, “Wherever you are, be all there.”


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