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A Father Speaks

If Only I Had it to Do Over

I won't beat around the bush. If I had it to do over, I would spend more time with my children. I would spend more time talking to them and listening to them. Praying with them and playing with them. Taking them to church and reading the Bible to them. Hugging them and kissing them.

It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since they were small. Jeremy is now 32. Ashley is 29. And Jessica is 26. My where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday when Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy were such a part of our home. Days turned into weeks. Weeks to years. And years to decades.

Oh, I heard the warnings...
* "Kid's grow up so fast."
* "Enjoy your children while they are young."
* "They won't be with you forever."

And I remember the verses...

* "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children..." (Deut. 6:6, 7).

* "Train up a child in the way he should go..." (Prov. 22:6).

* "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4).

I remember a saintly sister telling me once that the happiest time of her life was when her children were at home. I remember hearing a preacher once say, "There are special moments that only come around once in a lifetime ... and if you miss them, you just miss them." I can remember one of my girls telling her Bible class teacher, "But Daddy's never home." If only I had listened ... if only I could roll back the clock ... if only they were small again ... if only I had stayed at home ... if only...

God's grace is sufficient. It is twenty years earlier than I imagined. He has given me the chance. How will I use the time?

Keith Parker
Glad Tidings of Good Things
Vol. 8/June 26, 2003
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