Discipleship: 168 Hours
There are only 168 hours in a week. There are only 52 weeks in a year and 936 weeks between the time a child is born and he turns 18. That's only 936 Saturdays.
I created this image a few months back for this blog and this blog (especially read this one, parents) and I just can't get it out of my mind. It reminds me that I just don't have as much time as I think I do... It creates urgency in my heart.
If you have school-aged kids, your child probably sleeps about 56 of them and goes to school for 35 or so of them. That leaves 77 hours, give or take, for you to run back and forth to baseball practice, dance recitals, art lessons, and play dates. That includes when you sit down to eat dinner together, teach them new skills, when you tuck them in bed with a story, and when you pray together for people you know. You have 77 hours a week to disciple your kids to be followers of Jesus.
Your church might get about two hours of that time. 104 hours in a year is just not enough to disciple your children in such formative years, but good news! You have about that much time every week, give or take. And you don't have to sit down after dinner and read the Bible for an hour every night, you don't need a seminary degree to know what you need to know, and you don't need to have all the answers.
There's no formula for how to raise a child who will grow up to love the Lord... and there is plenty of room for the fumbles we make and the experimentation that comes with figuring out how your child learns best. I pray that you will find teachable moments and be encouraged to use the time you have well in your home. The beauty of it is that the Holy Spirit is the one who is responsible for the growth of your child, not you. God asks that we teach others about Him, but He is the one who calls a person to Himself. I pray that you will find encouragement knowing that the Holy Spirit will use your words, no matter how jumbled you feel that they are! I hope you hear me say that I want to lock arms with you and remind you that God promises that His Word will not return void. This discipleship thing is not something we can do alone.
Don't have kids? Don't forget: there are only 168 hours in your week as well. I am constantly challenged by this -- to spend less time in front of the television and more time growing and serving. You only have 168 hours. What are you doing with it?