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Focusing on turning limited time into quality time.

By Stan Toler

 

Dave is an IT consultant, husband and father of three who lives with his family in the Midwest—on the weekends. Weekdays, he is either on the road or in the air, traveling nationwide to meet with clients. He is one of a growing work force whose jobs may be hundreds of miles away from their home base.

Reporters asked Dave how he managed family duties when he was gone four days of every week. He replied, “The weekends are all family.” The young professional has learned how to squeeze a week’s worth of interest into a weekend.

You know the drill. Job, family, and community obligations often make you feel like an overripe orange in an olive press. But you have answered a call to the place and time you believe God ordained for you.

So how do you make it all gel? Focus. Focus and faith are inextricably linked. Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God. Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Paul instructed church leaders to manage their own families well. “For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1Ti. 3:4-5.)

Thanks to technology you can be there for your family, even when you are cities or countries away. But remember, the media is not the message. Your words and actions say it’s “all family.”

Show affection. Your affection investments will pay greater dividends than any high-yield mutual fund. The words “I love you” have a pleasant ring to them. Make sure family members hear them constantly.

Pay attention. What interests your family members? How can you show an interest in their interests? Share them when you can. When you cannot, be an inquiring reporter and ask the Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions about their activities—and then respond affirmatively to the answers.

Give recognition. Writer and TV personality, Bennett Cerf, once wrote, “A pat on the back, though only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, is miles ahead in results.” Well said!

Emphasize formation. Build your family unit with the same care you would build an organization. Your main task is to teach by word and deed how to love God, and how to live for him. That is the most fundamental building project.

Other than your faith, there is nothing that deserves your focus any more than your family. You and I will need every ounce of wisdom, courage, and strength that God has already promised.

 

You are loved,

Stan