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Fathers Need to Stop Stealing From Their Kids

There’s a crime wave going on in your neighborhood—possibly even in your own home.

It’s a crime wave that won’t make it to the nightly news, but not because it isn’t serious, for it scars generations and teaches them to commit the same crime.

Who are the criminals? Absent fathers.

I’m not talking about full-time absent fathers, those never home at all. I hope that’s a rarity. I’m talking about your average dad, the one who commits this crime most mornings, during dinner and especially during the hour before little ones go to bed.

It’s a crime wave, and I’ve been an offender. You might be one too.

You’re guilty when you skip breakfast with the family to prepare for that early morning meeting, when you’re distant at the dinner table because you’re resolving an issue at work in a long email conversation on your smartphone, and when you forfeit a healthy family night-time ritual because you’ve got something important to do—like write a blog post.

I’ve succumbed. Have you?

I don’t have time! Yes, you do.

Time management is a difficult task for the best of us. It can often seem impossible to give our children and wives the time they deserve. Douglas Wilson, writing to wannabe writers in his book Wordsmithy, offers a healthy reality check to the objection of having no time:

“When an extra load develops, try to have it land on you and not on the family. If it has to get done now, then get up at five, and nobody else pays. So if you need to, get up at five, but always try to go home at five.

Think of it this way. A 60-hour work week is an honest job and a significant load, but a lot of the problems that come to people who work this much happen because of where those 60 hours are placed. Apportion 40 hours to your regular job, the calling which pays the bills, and then 20 hours for your half-time job of getting a writing career started. It is possible to work those 60 hours and still have lots of time left over for family.

A week has a total of 168 hours in it. Sixty hours of work leaves 108, and eight hours of sleep a night takes away another 56 hours, leaving you with 52 hours a week to play tag in the backyard with the kids.”

Maybe you have more time than you think? If not, maybe you need to cut back on some of your commitments?

If you’re aware of this sin in your life, repent. It doesn’t please God. After you repent, believe the gospel. Know that Christ was diligent in all His duties where we fail daily. Know that Christ suffered for every scar you’ve left on the hearts of your children.

Forgiveness is available. Rejoice in this grace and parent like a forgiven sinner.