Busy Father, Frustrated Mother

taken from the April 1996 newsletter of
Deeper Life Ministries

Someone has said, "There's more to life than seeing how fast you can live it." True! But judging by how most Christians live today, one could think that living in the fast lane is the route to heaven.

Monday night there's a committee meeting. Tuesday night is gym night. Wednesday night is prayer meeting and visitation. Thursday night is a choice between a farewell and a bridal shower. Friday night is a social planned for the youth. Saturday night is practice night for an upcoming literary. Sunday afternoon the Intermediate Sunday school class will be singing for Mrs. Miller.

Besides, Dad, the oil needs to be changed in the station wagon, the kitchen faucet has been leaking for two weeks, the garden should be tilled, and your study hasn't been cleaned for three weeks because you said you didn't want things disturbed until you have sorted through the clutter.

Rush, plan, cram, up-to-the-minute, down-to-the-wire, round-the-clock until something snaps. Or someone.

Many things could be said about this kind of lifestyle, its causes and its consequences. Let's just note two observations.

OBSERVATION #1: Dad is too busy.

He doesn't want to be. He feels like a victim--work is demanding, things come up that he doesn't plan for, the church asks him to be on committees and boards, his children are always begging him to buy this or that or go here or there, he hasn't gone through his mail all week. And in the middle of all this chaotic demands, his wife has the audacity to drop an emotional bombshell: "I feel like you really don't care about me and the children anymore."

OBSERVATION #2: Mom is frustrated.

The hectic schedule leaves no quiet times for the family, no worship time, very little father/children time, and even less husband/wife time. Nerves are tight and tempers are short. It shows up in the way decisions are made and the way problems are "resolved." It shows up in the level of communication between husband and wife - or lack of it.

The busy father/frustrated mother syndrome is probably the number one reason for ineffectiveness in Christian parenting today.

While we are running here and there, we are communicating something other than our faith. The things we do and the places we go are not bad. They may be very good. But meanwhile, family cohesiveness is lost. We lose touch with one another. And if we look deeper, we find we have lost touch with God. The pace of life in North America and the value system associated with it are simply not geared to producing a godly heritage.

You had just as well face reality. If a quiet family evening at home is rare in your experience, you are caught in a fast-paced lifestyle.

What can we do?

    1. We must know what is important. The Bible is not vague on this point.

    2. We must prioritize. This should not be difficult either.

    3. We must cut out that which hinders us from really living. This is what we find difficult. Here is where the knife cuts. This is the root that needs the ax.
Think about it.

"Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6).

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