Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Life Integration vs Priorities

This morning I attended a fund raising breakfast for a non-profit called Family Promise. They have a admirable mission - to support and help families who are homeless. I pondered on the demands on me - and each of us - and how to prioritize. At my table was a friend who serves with me in my church. His solution to the prioritizing dilemma is integration. In his church responsibilities he involves his children to the extent that he can. Why? Not just so they can learn skills and learn life's lesson of service, but also so that my friend can meet both his family and church demands without guilt or significant sacrifice.

So if we look at all the demands and opportunities to contribute in society, or even where we spend out time in such pursuits as hobbies, we don't have to judge them simply by priorities, but we can choose those where we can participate integrated with our family. We may have to adjust, but the benefits of being together as a family are worth it. For example, I enjoy cycling, running, and swimming for exercise. I could involve my teenage boys and encourage them to train with me, even if it means adjusting my schedule or workout.

Which is more important - that I get a good time on my next triathlon, or that my children experience time with their father and know that I love and care for them more than a triathlon? Why does this even matter? Perhaps I have an obligation to raise my children to be successful adults and parents. Perhaps in the "raising" process, there will come critical times where they need me (whether they know it or not) and I not only need to be there, but need to have a pattern of being there for them. Then, as a father, I can bless me children in the difficult times as well as the routine times.

1 comment:

cathy said...

Hey - nice blog! Keep the ponderings coming - they're great.