“It’s for the kids.”
That’s what the man said as he was promoting parental involvement in our local Little League baseball association. Volunteers are needed for such operations to run smoothly and parents make up the majority of the help. The snack bar must be staffed, the teams coached, the games umpired, the fields maintained, the uniforms ordered, the player registrations recorded, and on and on. “It’s for the kids.”
It’s not unusual for parents to inconvenience themselves enormously for their children to play sports. Whatever money it takes, whatever schedule, whatever travel, these things are given willingly in pursuit of points, runs, medals, and trophies.
Baseball, or course, can be a useful tool for teaching many things. I’m not discounting the investment into sports; I’m suggesting an equal focus on areas more directly related to the development of the soul. Just as sports involvement takes a deliberate effort, so investment into our children in other areas of life should be done with purpose and intent. The next generation of moms and dads are sleeping under your roof. Give some thought to that and realize, “It’s for the kids”, but ultimately it’s about so much more.
If we can invest in sports activities and say, “It’s for the kids”, certainly we can invest in Kingdom activities for the same reason.
I propose two investment strategies:
1. Good books. Fill your home with them. It’s been said that a room without books is like a body without a soul. I agree. Take those books from the shelf and read them out loud to your children. I know it takes more effort than watching television. I know dads can be tired and the thought of reading for a half hour to wiggly children sounds exhausting. But trust me – it’s worth it. Don’t make it a rule, make it a habit. By that, I mean, it’s okay to skip days. Just make it such a consistent part of your life that it’s expected and normal to read good books as a family. Days may go by without reading, but when you have a free evening pick up at chapter nine and continue where you left off. “It’s for the kids.”
2. Family devotions. Find a way and make the time. Our usual time to read the Bible together is at dinner. Do we miss some days? Sure. Do we pick it up the next day? Yes. Keep it simple. I have struggled to find a method that works for us. But I keep at it. We may read a chapter from the Bible, or I may read a section from a devotional book. Sometimes we read the passage my kids are memorizing for school and discuss it. Sometimes we discuss what I’ve been studying in preparation to teach Sunday School or Home Fellowship Group at church. Whatever it is – just do it. The time and effort will pay eternal dividends. “It’s for the kids.”