Someone once stated, “No man on his deathbed ever looked up into the eyes of his family and friends and said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’” Men, it’s high time we evaluate our time away from our families. (This includes being home but being plugged into something worldly that is taking your time and energy away.) It seems understandable to me that a father needs to be gone from time to time as he fulfills obligations for his work, but have we accepted the idea that staying busy and being gone all the time is admirable? Please remember that there are some things in life that weigh more than wealth. Your time is one of them.

Remember Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas? They were degenerates. Here’s how the account starts, “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12). Why were they so rebellious and wicked? I suppose there are many speculations. My guess would be that Eli was too busy being a priest instead of a parent. I might be wrong about this, but it’s altogether possible. Many good men in leadership positions within the church (and without) tend to be too busy. The people need us. The Lord is using us. There’s much to do. There’s not enough time to waste. People are dying. The saving message needs to be taught. Marriages need saving. Hearts are broken and hurting. People need my time, my wisdom, my direction, and my prayers. All of that is true. But if you have a wife and children, they need you first. They are your first mission. Not your second.

The late brother Tony Hall used to say B.U.S. Y. means:





I use this a lot and try hard to remember that my children need me available and active in their lives and that Satan is always trying to steal my time.

It takes time to apply Ephesians 6:4

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

“To bring up” means “to rear up to maturity” or “to train.” Training takes effort, time, purpose, and diligence. There are three things involved in training (whether it’s training someone for a job, a sport, the military, life as a Christian, or anything else). They are:

  1. Information

  2. Demonstration

  3. Participation

Information: is giving our children the instruction or truth. Teaching them the precepts of God by training them to study the Scriptures so they may come to know God and His Son, Jesus. They need to be taught accurately who God is and what He wants from us as His children. How can your children live for God if they’re not taught the truth about God?

Demonstration: is giving our children the chance to witness us as fathers apply the information (truth). This is why Jesus spent three and a half years with His disciples, both men and women. They needed to observe Him handle the Pharisees, the chief tax collector in the tree, the shamed woman caught in adultery, the wretched man with leprosy, the desperate thief on the cross, and the well-known sinful woman who poured expensive perfume over Jesus’s feet as she wept, all in front of a judgmental crowd. Your children need to see what it looks like to live a dedicated, righteous life in a deeply unrighteous world. Whether it’s serving in worship, sharing our faith, dealing with difficult people, living on a budget, or serving the needy, our children need to watch, in real time, how it’s done by us as fathers.

Participation is giving our children the chance to live it. Years ago, I taught my son how to fish. Eventually, we bought him a cheap rod and reel and I had him bait his own hook, catch a fish, take the fish off the hook, clean the fish and then he got to enjoy eating the fish. Now he’s been fishing for years without my help. How? Because he was trained. If we are to train our children in the disciple and instruction of the Lord, we need to give them the information, demonstrate the information to them, then place faith in their hands and say, “It’s now your turn. Time for you to live it, and I’ll be right by your side as you do.”

None of this happens if you’re too busy.

David Elkind, the famous child psychologist and author of the bestselling author of The Hurried Child, tells this true story about his role as a parent. “I remember visiting my middle son’s nursery school class, at his teacher’s request so that I could observe a “problem child” in the class. It so happens that I as I was sitting and observing a group of boys, including my son, who sat in a circle nearby, their conversation went like this: Child A: “My dad is a doctor, and he makes a lot of money, and we have a swimming pool.” Child B: “My dad is a lawyer, and he flies to Washington and talks to the president.” Child C: “My daddy owns a company, and we have our own airplane.”

Then my son with aplomb says: “My daddy is here.”

Fathers, please take this to heart. The last thing you want in life is to have deep regret about being too busy doing a lot of things that really do not matter.

Fathers, stay busy. Stay busy raising your sons and daughters in the Lord. Then one day you’ll lay on your deathbed with tears of joy as your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren stand around you and bless your name.

Steve Minor
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Steve was born in Hollis, OK.  Steve graduated from Oklahoma Christian with a degree in Youth Ministry in 1998.  OC is where Steve met the love of his life, Stephani Jimenez, and married in 1996.  The Lord gave them three amazing children: Micah (husband, Joel Turner), Mason, and Makenna.

Steve & Stephani have worked for congregations in Texas and Oklahoma.  Steve is the founder and director of Legacy Family Camp each October to equip and strengthen families and the MIGHTY Men’s Mentoring Conference each January to train and strengthen men to be leaders.

Steve is the preaching minister for the Wylie Church of Christ in Wylie, Texas.