One of the major points I drove home in the sermon yesterday was that QUANTITY TIME was necessary. I talked about how our culture obsesses about QUALITY TIME and de-emphasizes QUANTITY TIME. The reality is that, the more QUANTITY TIME we spend with our family/kids the more likely we are to have QUALITY TIME. So, I was thinking last night that this may confuse or may cause a military family to feel sad or defensive. (Especially since many of the families in our Church are Special Forces families who are gone A LOT). So, I decided to make a few points about this situation.
1. When you are home, spend quantity time. If you have a job that takes away from your time at home, then you need to focus more on spending time with your family when you are home. Many guys who deploy (or travel) a lot for their job still get adequate time with the "boys" when they are home or still get adequate resting time when they are home, but don't overemphasize time with their family when they are home. This is revealing of your heart. If I am in a season of being away from my family a lot, I prioritize the time I can spend; I give up watching football, I give up hanging out with my friends. Make those things be what you miss out on, not your family.
2. Be creative when you are not home. . Make it a priority to talk with your family when you are gone. In this day of modern technology, there is really no excuse. So, don't check out from your family when you are TDY, out-of-town, or deployed. Make it of the utmost importance to connect with them. If that means you have to wake up at 4am to talk with them, do it. Your kids will not feel unloved because their daddy has to be gone, they will feel unloved if their daddy doesn't talk with them when they are gone.
3. If you can't hold your current position and then be fully focused on your family when you are home. QUIT. Wait.........what did I just say? Yes, quit. If you are one of those guys who needs to take the whole time you are not deployed/out of town to focus on preparing YOURSELF for deploying or traveling again, quit. We need special forces guys, we need guys that have jobs that require them to travel, we need guys that have tough jobs. But if you can't hold your job and be a good dad, then get rid of the job before you lose your family or before your kids grow up without a dad.
4. Finally, realize what your wife does. I know being in the military or having a job where you have to travel a lot is hard work. But, don't forget that your wife is raising your kids by herself when you are not there. Go above and beyond to thank her and show her appreciation when she is gone. I know of several guys who are out-of-town a lot and when they get back, they do nothing around the house. When you get home, SERVE YOUR WIFE. If that feels like a lot of work, then I just encourage you to realize you are a not a little boy anymore and MAN UP.