Plus, 4 keys to help your family thrive in life.
Did you ever ask your dad to let you borrow some money, only to be given a dissertation as to why you don’t need the money you asked for?
As you take your kids on a walk, or when you get home from work, do they ask you for money or for stuff?
Sure – it’s part of family life.
I’m going to share with you a story – whether true or not, I don’t fully know. All I know is that this story has a great impact and makes a great point that’ll probably drive you mad – or to tears.
I came across this story years ago and it helped me reconsider my reaction to my kid’s request – for anything. Now, I want to share it with you.
A man came home from work late one day, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door. (Normally, this is a father’s dream – isn’t it?)
SON: 'Daddy, May I ask you a question?'
DAD: 'Yeah sure, what is it, son?' replied the father.
SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'
(now, that’s not a question you’re quite ready to discuss with your 5 year old – especially when you’re tired from a hard day’s work).
DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?!' the father said angrily.
SON: ‘I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'
DAD: 'Alright, if you must know, I make $50 an hour.'
SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down. Quietly and painfully he asked: 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?'
The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard every day for such childish frivolities.'
The little boy quietly went to his room, sad, hurt, and somewhat confused, and shut the door. He wondered: “boy, what did I do wrong? I just asked a simple question?”
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions.
“How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?” - He thought.
After about an hour or so, showered and somewhat relaxed, the man had calmed down, and started to think: “Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00. I mean, he doesn’t really ask for money very often.”
The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. 'Are you asleep, son?' He asked.
'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.
'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the father.
'It's been a long day you know, and I just took out my aggravation on you. So I’m sorry son. Here's the $25 you asked for.'
The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' He yelled.
Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.
The man saw that his son already had money and started to get angry again.
The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. ‘Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled.
Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' his little boy replied. 'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.'
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.
"We’re often very busy making a living while forgetting to make a life." Click to Tweet
This is somewhat of a heart-wrenching story made beautiful. It's just a short reminder to all of us working hard to sustain our families.
Time and again I’ve said that we’re often very busy making a living while forgetting to make a life.
We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Especially, those who we have brought into this world – they need our time desperately.
Here are 3 keys to help your family thrive in life:
1. Be ready to acknowledge your shortcomings.
You’re not perfect – so get over it. You’re gonna fail your kids at some point in time.
From broken promises to not performing like a superhero – as they think you are. So acknowledge your shortcomings, and be ready to make up for it.
Don’t make up excuses for it, but be ready to make it up to them.
This leads me to my next point.
2. Be ready to repent.
Yes, be a strong dad or mom and apologize to your kids for falling short. And repent.
Repentance means – you have enough remorse and you’re going to change the situation - for their well-being – no your benefit.
3. Be ready to set the standard.
Yeah, set the standard of a strong character.
Make promises. Tell them you’ll be home for dinner, or you’ll be taking them out for ice-cream. And do it!
Establish and Re-establish your commitment. Remember – they’re watching you and would want nothing more than to be just like you.
4. Be ready to spend the time.
Who’s got extra time, right? We’ve all been there. In fact, we’re all there.
For some of us, 24 hours in a day don’t seem to be enough. I know – just like me, I’m sure you’ve heard it said before: “we all have the same 24 hours in a day, so schedule accordingly.”
The fact of the matter is – life has too many demands. In some cases they’re unnecessary annoying demands.
Choose to not shave some time off your schedule for your children – be sure to shave time off of somebody else desire for your attention and give your kids the time they need.
Not only your kids, but also your spouse. Time is a strong tool we have that costs us nothing, but once invested it pays incredible dividends.
"Time is a strong tool we have that costs us nothing, but once invested it pays incredible dividends." Click To Tweet
I remember over 14 years ago I was given a job opportunity that would pay me over 6 figures. I was thrilled that they considered me for the job. After the initial interview I went home to pray and consider this offer.
At the time we had all four of our children – ages from 2-12. After much consideration – about 2 minutes (too long) I made my decision.
I mean, I could get out of debt within two years with such job, have a nice savings act, and vacation money. Then I could quit and keep on working the ministry - comfortably.
Two days later I went back to meet with my recruit and told them thank you for his consideration but I had to turn it down.
He asked: "Well, may I ask why?"
To which I responded, “You mentioned that this job (which I’d love to have) would require me to travel about 75% of my time. That only leaves me with 25% of my time for family and ministry. The only way I could do this job is if the percentages were the other way around.”
Sometimes you have to consider your time – your valuable time. And consider where that time will be most essential and where you’ll be making the most lasting impact. No doubt, families need time.
So remember to share that $50 worth of your time with your loved ones.
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below or share it on your social media channels or email it to a friend.
About the Author
Alex Colón, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Teacher, Pastor, Blogger and best of all, Husband and Father of 4. Living the re-Branded life