As the proud owner of a four year old boy, it feels like I’ve got so much time (at times, too much time) with my son. He is a delight, and while the years race by, sometimes the days go by so slowly. It often feels like we’ve crossed another milestone with very little thought or planning about what I’d like him to learn or grow into, and so I’m trying to take scripture seriously when it tells us in Ephesians to make the best use of our time, because the days are evil.
In Psalm 90, we read that,
“The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
I love that. “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
And while we might feel like we have our children forever, it’s important to remember that our days with them at the age and stage they’re in are numbered. Soon, my son won’t want me to hold his hand as we walk towards his new school. It’s heartbreaking and wonderful news.
And in the light of that, I’m trying to do several things.
1. Start with the end in mind.
My wife and I spent time this last week thinking about and considering what our family values are, and how we want to instill them in our son. We even wrote a family mission statement! This is the lens my wife and I will make decisions through as we seek to honor God in the way we raise our son. We know where we’d like our son to end up, so it makes decisions about screen time, eating out, prayer, and everything else a lot easier.
2. Soak it in.
When my son turns five, I’ll have around 677 weeks until he turns 18. That’s something that’s quite literally, numbered. And every time things get a little too wild or messy, or I feel myself checking out, I’m reminding myself to check back in and be present, because I don’t want to miss the moment in front of me. There are parents all around the world who would trade everything they own for more time with their children. I want to soak in every second. Even if you’re not a parent, It’s important to realize that the season you’re in isn’t permanent.
3. Trust God.
I have no control over the future. On particularly prideful days, I might think I do, but this passage reminds me that God is in control. If we didn’t know God’s character, this might not be good news, but we know our God and how good He is. We know He’s kind, and merciful, and generous, and gives good gifts. And we know He’s a Father. So I trust God, and I’m asking Him to help me trust Him more each day as I do the best I can to lead my family and love them well.
The day ahead of you is a gift God has given you. Let’s trust God together, enjoy the moment, and make the best of our time to glorify Him!
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