The 401K Of Kids

I wish I had been smarter with my money so much earlier in life. There are still many days my last few dollars go to coffee instead of my savings. Over many cups of this addictive brew, I have heard from men who have shared their regret of waiting so long to put aside finances for the future. It can be a bone chilling response as the year’s creep higher while your bank account is flat lined.  Such a sobering feeling of the possibility of financial security in the twilight years of life.

I recently heard a statistic that we have at an average of 50,000 hours with our kids until they are essentially off and running on their own. Fifty-thousand hours of time that we can invest in the lives of the most precious and valuable things we have ever touched and had the privilege of seeing become all they could be. By the time our children are ten, we have seen more than 30,000 of these hours come and go. I don’t want to live in fear of looking back and regretting lost time.

I don’t want that for anyone.

We have a breaking point of time where with greater veracity and impact be able to invest in the lives of our children. Think about those times when you come home from work and are tired, possibly upset and worn down about what the day had to offer. Then you get out of your car and the most amazing thing happens. The door swings open or you hear footsteps running down the sidewalk followed by the words, “Daddy! Mommy!”

For those heart-warming moments, you forget about the woes of the world and realize what’s most valuable.

What were my worries again?

These kids don’t see the broken mess or the mistakes of the past that haunt our steps, they see a superhero! How are we leveraging this? Do we use this time in their lives to speak words of life and hope and encouragement, or do we overlook these times to fulfill our needs first? Are we spending our waking hours attempting to build a great life for our families all the while they stand on the sidelines just waiting to join in the adventure with us?

Are we soaking up the moments to engage and speak life to those who will cry the most at our funeral? Are we investing before they seek validation from their peers and begin to see us as a human ATM?

I pray we take the time now to invest allowing for a greater exponential return in the future.

Where the dividends we receive later in life have a far greater payout than any dollar ever will. Time is short. James 4:14 says life is a vapor indicating tomorrow is of no guarantee. As a Father of two, I understand coming home tired, worn out to quickly change hats becoming an engaged, listening father. There are many days I want to just stop and do nothing, and there are days I do. Then I think about how fast time goes by and how much those little ears are waiting to hear from their superhero.

They want to listen today. We need to speak today.

Without saying a word, they scream to us how much they desire to be lead. Are we leading them the way we wanted to be led? Are we loving them the way we wanted to be loved at their age? Psalm 127:3 says children are a heritage of the Lord, a gift. Are we treating them as such, or are we moving so rapidly we will find ourselves in regret when the moment has passed? Neither you nor I want to look back on the pictures of our children’s youth and wish we invested better.  Let’s invest wisely now, because now is all we have.

We have been given an opportunity to shed the false reality of our perfection, to reveal freedom to our children there is none perfect, no not one. To destroy the lie with age comes perfection. Instead let us remind them with age comes humility and reliance on a far greater loving Father who is forgiving and redeeming. Be the hero your children need to see, not the false identity of an out-of-touch individual whom they can never measure up to.  Be the one to shatter the silence, put down the phone and redeem the time so quickly fleeting to invest in a sure return.

How can you change the current paradigm in your family to listen, love and speak life?

Are you up to the task?

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