My last two posts concerned the role of fathers “walking point” for their families in enemy territory. Today, I'm adding a third danger that dads need to avoid to keep their loved ones safe from Satan’s snares: procrastination--or putting off making time for your kids.

Contrary to what many dads think, kids don’t spell love “s-t-u-f-f.” They spell love “t-i-m-e.” You will never make up for lost time with your children with material things. It’s been said that a child is someone who passes through your life and then disappears into adulthood. Time is one treasure that is irreplaceable. Think of the time God has given you with your children in three ways:

1. It’s an investment.

Too many dads spend time instead of investing it. They think just living in the same house with the kids suffices for meaningful contributions. Years ago, a survey was taken that revealed the average father gave an average of 37 seconds a day of focused attention to their preschoolers. It’s important to realize that it takes quantity time to achieve quality time. Give your children focused attention. It’s an investment that pays great future dividends.

2. It’s an opportunity.

Time with your kids is an opportunity for them to see your heart. Have you ever noticed when a small child is speaking to a parent? They pay special attention to their eyes. The focused attention you give your children instills a sense of affirmation and builds their self-esteem.

It’s also an opportunity to teach them the fear of the Lord. The Psalmist said, “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” (Psalm 34:11) Fathers have a God-given responsibility to teach and train their sons and daughters. Pray with your kids. Take time to answer the many questions they ask. Use the time you have with them to fortify their faith.

Finally, time with your kids is an opportunity to develop their gifts and abilities. Don’t try to force your own goals on them but rather help them develop their own. Too often, fathers attempt to make up for their own failures and deficiencies by reliving their dreams vicariously through their kids. Every child is unique and a wise dad will spend enough time with them to learn their strengths and talents and guide them toward growth in those areas.

3. Time is a vapor.

There is a story I heard years ago about a father who promised his two young sons that he would take them to the circus on Saturday. The boys were thrilled and looked forward to the weekend with great anticipation. At the breakfast table that Saturday morning the phone rang. Urgent business required his presence at the office. It was a tense moment as the two boys braced themselves for the disappointment.

Then they heard their father say into the phone, “Sorry, it’ll have to wait. I’ve got a previous commitment.” Hanging up the phone his wife looked at him and said, “The circus keeps coming back you know.” “Yes,” he replied, “but childhood doesn’t.” Truer words were never spoken.

If you’ve never heard Harry Chapin’s song, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” I encourage you to give it a listen. Its poignant message is desperately needed in this fast-paced world we live in.

Don’t put off investing precious time with your kids. Give them focused attention, biblical counsel, and much prayer. Someone once said, “procrastination is like a credit card, it’s a lot of fun until the bill comes due.”

The third danger dads need to avoid: procrastination--or putting off making time for your kids.