In this day of immediacy and instant gratification, I find it difficult to help my children learn to wait. Often they will come in from school and say, “Oh, mom don’t cook big tonight. Let’s just have some kind of microwave stuff.” What they really mean is that I am going to pull them away from their screens (media) and ask them to help set the table, put ice in the glasses and show up at the table withOUT a device. Then, we will take our time visiting and eating. My teen makes fun of me because I advise all to “slow down and savor” in between telling the boys that “we are not at a trough.” What I hope I am really teaching them is that some things in life are worth the time – even in our crazy, busy, busy world.
While there are many things in life worth savoring, or appreciating, there are a few basics which should not be rushed.
A Good Spouse. Only in fairy tales does the prince meet the princess and they fall madly in love and live happily ever after all in one day. Finding a good spouse first means we take the time to know ourselves. For instance, if I were married to someone who forbid me to, or even hinted that I shouldn’t, buy even more books then we would probably be divorced. I know that about myself so I wanted a spouse who was a reader.
A good spouse is worth the wait.
Don’t marry just because all the others are doing it and don’t marry because your parents like the person. Know yourself. Get to know the other and put it to the test of time. Maybe not five years but certainly more than three days of wild sex. It takes TIME to know if you can create a lasting relationship with another person and that will be time well spent. Don’t rush. Don’t hurry. Not in the finding of a good spouse.
Being a parent is wild and wonderful to be sure, but it is also about work, work, prayer, work, prayer, work, commitment, more work, commitment, and biting your tongue more than you ever thought you could. Parenting is tough. Just google “foster care in America” to see how tough it can be.
“Each week, nearly 60,000 children in the United States are reported as abused or neglected, with nearly 900,000 confirmed abuse victims in 2004. About 520,000 of those children end up in foster care each year — double the number 25 years ago. Approximately 800,000 children every year come in contact with the foster care system.”
Why did the numbers double in 25 years? Parenthood is tough. It is not a joke and the victims are very small. If you are not ready to face the challenges of being a parent, then wait. Give it some time. Don’t ruin another’s life because you can’t take care of your own business. Wait. It will be worth it.
A Good relationship with your kids. It takes time to develop a relationship that will last well after they leave the nest. When they fail, you need to be there. When they succeed, you need to be there. If you are busy, put it down for a bit and be there. Even if you are sick and tired of football by the eighth kid, go and sit on those cold bleachers. Let them play the piano at 7 am and applaud them when they are finished. Take a million pictures. Take them on forced family outings. Spend time so that in the end there will be a relationship to relish.
At some point, the time bank changes direction. Back off and give children their own time. Time to make their own mistakes and time to resolve them alone. Time to think things through. Time to grow up and manage their own lives. Time to solve their marriage problems and time to make decisions. Time to remember that mom and dad weren’t so dumb after all.
Hot bread. What else needs to be said? Hot, rising, bread on the back of the stove is a temptation in progress. Well worth the time. The little things can light up our day.
God’s Answer. Don’t get in a rush and take things into your own hands. He will answer. He promises. He is faithful.
Remember when letters were the ultimate communication device? We had time to think and ponder and wish and prepare while we waited. Things were slower and in the waiting period, we learned what we were made of and who we were. Even though we live in a faster, rushed world, there are still some things that are worth the wait.