Not long after my first son was born, someone came up to me and said something that changed my perspective on parenting. “Enjoy every moment. The days are long but the years are short.”
At the time, I was low on sleep and high on stress, and this wasn’t the time for one-liners. Why couldn’t he offer to babysit for a few hours instead?
But it’s been nearly four years since I held my son for the first time, and I’ve thought about his comment hundreds of times.
Parenting is a beautiful storm. Few endeavors are more life-giving and joy-filled. But it’s far from easy. Some days all you can do is hold on. The torrent of poop diapers and irresponsible decisions threaten your sanity. Other days, you see it. You see the hard work, late nights and discipline finally paying off.
Parenting is hugely important. Strong families are the backbone of strong societies and cultures. Without strong parents building strong children, cultures become paralyzed and stagnant. Parents, you’re shaping the eternal trajectory of your children.
But, let’s be honest, children aren’t easy to read. I still can’t understand why they don’t come with instructions. And the whole thing happens so fast. One minute a huge ball protrudes my wife’s belly. The next moment the huge ball pees on the nurse. Here I am today, just days away from the huge ball’s fourth birthday.
The days are long. The years are short.
You have a short time to prepare your children. And beyond the poker faces are real needs. For children to thrive in today’s world, with its unique complexities and challenges, here are some things they need.
1.) Your marriage to take priority over them
Children demand time and resources. You should serve them and provide for them. You should invest in their present and future.
And one of the best ways to invest in your children is to invest in your marriage.
If your children take priority over your marriage, you will lose your children and your marriage. Your children will become idols, never living up to your expectations, and you will always expect more from them than they can give.