Time and Attention is a Scarce Resource, Love is Not

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Time and Attention is a Scarce Resource, Love is Not

I’m about to celebrate my eighth Father’s Day. On the one hand, it doesn’t seem like that many years in comparison to the rest of my life, but on the other hand, it’s been long enough to where I can’t remember my life not being a father. There are still times when I’ll be looking around the dinner table or sitting on my back porch watching the kids play and marveling at the miracle of fatherhood.   Eight years ago, these little humans that have come to define so much of my life didn’t exist. They run around our home with my eyes and my wife’s dimples, my drive and stubbornness and my wife’s fight and passion. They are so entwined with our marriage yet so uniquely them. It is a miracle. Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting I remember when our second son was born, there was a worry that somehow more kids meant less love to share with them. I worried that somehow my ability to father would be diminished by the amount of children we had (we ended up with four). Fortunately, more kids proved that theory wrong, and I think it’s something worth reflecting on as we think of Father’s Day. Time and attention is a scarce resource, love is not.   As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am not always the most adaptable person. I order the same thing at restaurants, I have a morning routine I like to stick to, I struggle to understand that there may be more than one way to do something.   Because of that, it has been a challenge to reorient the way I use time and attention with every kid. I think it’s the burden that every parent carries. Knowing that at all times, I am not able to give my kids the full attention and time they truly need. At first, I think I let it get to me, until I remembered the nature of love is different than the nature of time.   There is no way I can give all four of my kids the individual attention I was able to give them when we only had one. Time and attention are limited resources. But there is a way to show them the same love. In fact, I think love is more like compound interest. The more of it you have and the longer you have it, the more it grows. This is what I’m remembering this Father’s Day, and the thing I’m thankful for. I get to experience the eight year benefit of the compounding interest of love for my children. I’ve learned to appreciate their unique differences more each year, gotten to witness the image of God in them, as well as the burden of sin, and been a broken proxy for Jesus for them the whole time.   I can look back on the eight years and see the sanctification hyper-drive fatherhood has put me in, and the end result is an ever growing love that I get to experience daily. I know that often times Father’s Day ends up meaning Father’s escaping the reality of fatherhood for a day, but I want to offer a different way to celebrate. See Father’s Day as a day to cash in on the growing love account children produce in you and share it with your family.

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