Impact of Parental Busyness

March 29, 2011

Life is so busy these days.  But it was no different when I was growing up in a small town.  My dad was a rural mail carrier and carried mail for only 2 hours per day.  That would give him potentially a lot of free time, but he decided to build an overnight travel park across the street for trailers and campers needing somewhere to relax on their way to Denver or Kansas City.  I remember him not having much time in the summer to just sit and chat with the business that would come in nightly.  He was busy almost all the time.  It caused me to have negative feelings about the business because he had little time for me.

I see a parallel story develop in II Kings 18-21 between a father, Hezekiah, and Manasseh, the son.  Hezekiah was a good king and followed what God wanted him to do, but he was very busy taking care of the kingdom.  A further detail of the life of  Hezekiah is found in II Chronicle 29-32.  It said that he was a success at whatever he did. He made buildings to store the harvest, wine and olive oil.  Built stalls for his livestock.  Build villages.  Made dams.  Created groves of trees.  What was missing–time to spend with his son Manasseh.  He was a success in being the king of Judah, but he sacrificed time with his son Manasseh during the formative years of his son’s life (0-12).

Today when children are not connected with their parents because of their busyness, they often rebel and do the very opposite of what their parents desire.  Manasseh I’m sure was resentful of the lack of time he had with his father, so that when he became king in place of his father, he did the exact opposite that his father did.  In II Kings 21 when he took over as king, it says, “He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected alters to Baal and made an Asherah pole.  He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshipped them.  He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists.” (II Kings 21:3-6)

When we don’t take time to value our children because we are too busy doing our own thing, problems will arise.  We may be doing really good things.  Godly things.  Serving the Lord.  Hezekiah was serving the Lord, but he forgot to focus on the most important task God had given him.  Parent his children.

On this journey there are a lot of good things we can do, but we are called to choose the most important tasks at hand.  Choose wisely.


About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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