Life in Abundance

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Love Spelled T-I-M-E

by Virginia Smith

We have all heard about the importance of “quality time” spent with children. On the flip side, we also hear that the quality of the time is more important than the quantity of time.

I beg to differ. Can we as parents, grandparents and friends truly believe that a few quality minutes per day will counteract the many hours spent on television, computer games or other secular activities? Children will grow to reflect the environment in which they are reared.

A person’s capital is the various kinds of wealth available to him. Social capital is an important kind of wealth that represents a person’s relationships. The more social capital—or time spent with positive adults—available to a child, the more enriched his environment, the greater his learning and the better the likelihood of a successful life.

The best way we can show love for children is to spend time with them. The best gifts we can give them are related to time. Take them to church. Go with them on a nature walk. Talk to them about what they hear and see, and help them make sense of life. If possible, enroll them in a wholesome community club or program. And when the time comes, send them to church school if it isn’t possible to home school them. Each of those times together will grant them more opportunities for social capital with an adult of positive influence.

But, if that is where we stop, we have still deprived them of the best. No matter what other sources of social capital are provided, the most important thing we can do is lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus.

When bonds of love and friendship tie them to us, we have lots of influence over their choices and decisions. While that is a weighty responsibility, how important it is for each of us to cultivate our own daily friendship with Jesus, so that we are always prepared to give positive social capital to children.