Why the Time We Spend with Children is the Most Important Time of All

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October 17, 2012

I’ve always said my wife, Polly, has the best response I’ve ever heard when someone asks her, “What do you do?”

“I don’t know,” she says, “but I do it all day long.”

Any mom out there who is busy raising children and running the household knows exactly what she is talking about when she says that. Raising children is exhausting work for a reason—it is some of the most critically important work people do on this planet.

Every now and then, sometimes when I’m on the road with Women of Faith, a mom will ask me something like this: “I feel guilty being a ‘stay-at-home’ mom. While others are out changing the world, I’m at home changing diapers. What should I do?”

I’ve thought about this question a lot. After all, I have two boys of my own, and I often have to decide between taking on another speaking date that will cause me to miss several days at home, or stay at home and spend time with Austin and Adam.

Here is what I have come to realize: the time we spend with our children might just be the most important time we spend while we’re alive. Remember the butterfly effect? The actions you take today, however big or small, can radically change the course of someone else’s life years from now. Who knows—maybe that extra hour or two we spend just having a casual conversation with our children will contain a crucial bit of wisdom that they carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Of course, this is not to say that spending time with our children is the only important, world-changing thing we can do. If you have been led to help people beyond the walls of the home, by all means, go for it. But next time you feel that little bit of doubt that what you do within the walls of your home might not be that important, remember—the actions you take today can affect billions tomorrow.

 

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