6,566 looks like an ordinary number. It is not. It is the approximate number of days you will have with your children from birth to age 18.
6,566 is not an ordinary number. It represents a childhood.
You will not always be setting an agenda for every moment in those 6,566 days, but you will always be setting a tone, a climate, or an environment that says, “This is what it is like to live for Jesus”. That is a big deal. Because it is a big deal your unplanned time should not be unexamined time. You should give considerable thought to what your children are “catching” about what it means to be a Christian, and what practical steps you can take to be READY for unplanned time.
Here are few ways to get SET for unplanned time with your kids:
1. Have planned time where you intentionally teach the truths of the faith in appropriate child-sized portions.
2. Plan unplanned time. What we have found is that God often graciously uses unplanned time to providentially bring to the forefront something we have been teaching or doing in our planned time. These can be powerfully impactful moments in the life of your children. They will see that God is indeed real in the lives. So, intentionally set aside time where you are just going to be around.
3. Get settled on a few tone-setting, climate-establishing, vision-casting, this-is-what-it-means-to-live-for- Jesus categories that you want your kids to “catch” from you. You might consider the following list as a place to start:
- In all things I want them to see me Depend on God
- In all things I want them to see me Delight in God
- In all things I want them to see me Demonstrate God’s goodness
- In all things I want them to hear me and see me Declare God’s praises
Here are few steps you can take today no matter where you are in your 6,566 days.
1. Go get yourself prepared to have planned time- In his book Intentional Parenting, Tad Thompson offers the following practical steps
- Commit to reading the Bible from cover to cover in the next ninety days
- Commit to reading one book a year from each of the following categories
i. The Gospel
ii. The Big Story (Biblical Theology)
iii. The Big Truths (Systematic Theology)
iv. The Great Commission
v. Spiritual Disciplines
vi. Christian Living
- Discuss with other Christian parents
- Commit to a church that values expositional preaching
- Begin to share and model at home what you are learning
2. Go get honest about the tone you are setting in your house. Ask your spouse about it. Listen without defending yourself. Compare it to the tone you want to set.
3. Go get alone with the Lord after that conversation. Repent where you need to repent. Seek wisdom where you need to seek wisdom. Give thanks where you need to give thanks.
4. Go get your calendar and plan some unplanned time with your kids. Plan some regular tone checks with your spouse.
Each one of the 6,566 days are urgent, and cumulatively they take endurance. Are you ready? Commit to getting yourself set because God has given you the responsibility to protect and prepare your children. Do not neglect to pray fervently and persistently. God is sovereign. Not one effort of yours will bring your children to faith in Christ or bear fruit for Christ outside of His saving, sanctifying work in their lives.
Go enjoy the 6,566. They are a gift!