From the time children are born until they reach age 18, they are awake 118,260 hours (allowing eight hours for sleep a night). Out of that 118,000 hours, approximately 15,000 hours are spent in public school, and—if they never missed a Sunday or Wednesday church class—in their lives, 1,872 hours are spent in Bible classes. That leaves 101,388 waking hours that they are under parental supervision. Mothers and fathers, if our children go wrong, we cannot lay the greatest blame on public school teachers, church officers, or Bible teachers. School had them only 12% of the time; Bible teachers had them only 1.5% of the time, but we as parents have them 85% of the time. We have the greatest opportunity, the first duty, and the most responsibility. We cannot shift their care to school, daycare, Bible School, grandparents, or any other place.
How are we using those 101,388 hours? The average American child spends more than 24,000 hours in front of a TV by age 18—more than all hours in school and Bible class combined. (Of the parent’s 85%, TV has 20%.). Is this where we want our children to learn about life? Are the morals and ethics it interweaves into plots what we want for our offspring? Someone has said, “The most dangerous thing in most houses is the remote control.” Let’s turn it off and make some memories and take some pictures! Let’s take time to talk to our children, teach them to love good books, take them places and let them face new experiences under our watchful eye, catch fish and fly balls, learn to mow grass and skip rocks, laugh and cry together, eat snow cones and ballpark hotdogs, go on church trips and to youth days, and a thousand other things during the precious—and fleeting—hours God gives us with our children.
“…father…seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life…” —Genesis 44:30
House to House, Volume 5 #4