I have had many conversations with my son about what matters. I make sure he is aware of the decisions that we make as a family to protect our time together. I spell things out for him so he really knows the sacrifices, the tough decisions, and the day-in and day-out stuff that goes into making that happen.
And it's sinking in. And I thought that was a good thing, until it came back to bite me in the butt!
This week he asked me to make him breakfast and I was just sort of vegging out on my computer. "Yeah, sweetie, I'll be right there," I responded, still mostly focused on my computer screen.
And that's when my five-year old son pointed to the computer screen and said, "That is your pri-yo-ity." And then he walked off.
To be honest, I rarely talk on the phone during the day and try to keep my computer time to quit snippets here and there. I try to do what I need to do when it won't take time away from my husband or my children. But my son was right--in that moment, it was more important to me to keep doing what I was doing than to tend to a need of my child. Gotta call a spade a spade here.
My son knows we refuse to weary ourselves in the pursuit of stuff. We just don't care about all of that. But about our primary ministry--our family? Yes, we do care. And we protect our schedules in keeping with what we say matters. BUT--my son has, at times, asked why Daddy has to go to work when family time is more important. That's when we have a conversation about balance. And I have made it clear that if I do need to be on a phone call, they are to allow me that time, since it is a rarity. I don't want my kids to think the world revolves around them. But I do want them to know they matter--that what God has given us in each other matters.
I hope the balance part sinks in eventually. But I guess if he's going to err, I want my son to err not on the side of pursuing stuff and seeking opportunities, but on the side of protecting family time and guarding what is precious--taking every opportunity to teach who God is. Because he will serve his future family better by doing that than by any other thing he could provide for them.
May God give my boy--and me as well--wisdom in ordering our "pri-yo-ities."