If you were asked how much your children are worth, you might think about how much of a ransom you would be willing to pay if they were kidnapped. I’m sure the amount would be high. Most of us would eagerly put up everything we own to get them back.
We would gladly sell our home, cars, stocks, jewelry, and anything else of value we have to pay that ransom. We’d never say the price was too much to keep our children safe. But that’s not really how we determine the value of our children. Hopefully, none of us will ever have to experience such a horrible tragedy. So there has to be another way to determine their value.
For most of us, we think of “worth” in terms of money. But there’s something we all have that’s far more valuable than money. It’s time.
We can lose and gain money. We can grow it, spend it, give it away, and save it. But we all have only a certain amount of time. We can’t grow it; we can’t make any more of it. All we can do is spend it. And where we spend it determines what we value — what people and things are worth to us.
The Bible tells us that we are to consider others more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3-4). And the one area we show others, especially our children, that we value them more than ourselves, is to give them our time.
If we’re willing to admit it, most of us have a pretty high sense of self worth. But what really makes us feel good is when someone else shows us that they value us enough to give us some of their time — with nothing expected in return. When someone else says we have worth, it means a whole lot more.
Probably the best way you can give your children your time is to listen to them. It shows them that what they have to say and what they think is important to you. It tells them that you think it’s worth something. It’s also the best way to learn what’s in their heart. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34, ESV) So you don’t have to give away a fortune to show your children that you value them. All you need to spend is some of your time.
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom’s Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.