June 27, 2014 - Marriage, Parenting

As a young father, my life was filled with responsibilities. I wanted to earn a good wage, climb the allusive corporate ladder, and support my family well. I wanted them to have the best.

man looking over a canyon

It was more than making ends meet. Work meant providing a way of life that was over the top, and in many ways unrealistic. The cost was high.

Even though I spent time with my wife and kids, which I loved to do, I also worked long hours and was constantly busy.

I believed that tomorrow would somehow be different, that I would have more time to spend with them–later.

Satan wants us to put off till tomorrow what God wants us to do today. It allows him to wedge another item into our lives for which we don’t have time. When that means pulling us away from our husbands, wives and kids, he’s happy.

It isn’t that we are choosing to ignore our families. We intend to make it work. We expect to do that trip or make that memory later. Our motives are pure and expectations realistic—for the most part.

Unfortunately over time I lost years that I can never get back. I didn’t abandon my wife or kids. I didn’t lose the opportunity to impact their lives. But I could have done more. I could have had more. For that reason, I wish I had it to do over.

Years ago I spoke with an older gentleman. My kids were in their early teens at the time.

This man had worked his whole life to climb the ladder of success. He recalled wanting his family to be proud of him, but they complained they wanted more of him.

He didn’t listen and he didn’t slow down. Instead, he worked harder, expecting to spend that precious time with them tomorrow. Oftentimes he made great plans to do something special with the kids or his wife. But he would cancel at the last-minute. He didn’t mean to, but things came up that he felt needed his attention, always expecting there to be tomorrow.

He faced his old age alone. His kids were long gone—busy just like he had been for so many years. His wife had died in her fifties. He smiled and told me how much money he had in the bank—it was a lot. He explained how little it meant to him. He would have given it all for one more day in those early years.

If you’re a young dad or mom, don’t wait for tomorrow. Make the best of today. Take the kids for ice cream. Go to the park. Date your wife.

Some of my best memories are from when I played hooky from work and took the day with my wife, or took the family to the zoo.

Do it now, not tomorrow. If someone tells you you’re irresponsible, tell them you’re on a mission from God. It’s true.