Christian Parenting: The Tale Your Life Will Tell

Our lives tell a tale. Each day the story begins as we put our feet on the floor. Given 1440 minutes, we begin. Kids up and dressed. Breakfast served. Daily tasks begun. Choices made. And with each action the tale unfolds. Each day is full of potential and God allows us to choose how we will spend those minutes.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

Our example demonstrates our priorities

As parents, we can tell our children what we value; we can explain in words what matters most; we can speak to them about faith and family and education, all things we want to honor. And then, our story unfolds in wordless truth. 1440 minutes of honesty. Our actions put our priorities on display for the world to see. We choose to engage in the things that are most important and we put off things that feel less significant. What will your calendar say about your priorities today?

Is our time spent pursuing God?

The tyranny of the urgent is the ever present need to meet every deadline and get all things accomplished. The chasing after the details can rob us of opportunities to see how God is at work in all of our moments and days. You get to be the one who orders your time. What disciplines will you pursue? What of these things will matter in five years? How many of those minutes will you spend in God's word? How much of your precious time will be spent with your family? How many of those priceless seconds will be spent in prayer? Will your family offer some of this day to learning more about creation? To studying homework and pouring over books? To appreciating music and beauty around us?

Being intentional yields better results

It can be easy to miss out on the truly important when we are not intentional about our choices. How much time will be spent, silent, as the television entertains? Will you choose to give time to tumult and tension? Will you grapple with grief or forgo forgiveness? Minutes are finite, and how we choose to spend them tells a story we cannot un-tell. It is truth. It is reality. Regardless of what words we offer to explain what we value, our actions and decisions and time will tell the tale. And without intentionally approaching the choosing, we can easily lose the day to urgent things that do not matter at all in the long run.

Be guided by a grander vision

As we go through day-to-day life with our family, we must find a way to step back and look with a big-picture vision at the way our lives are unfolding. We have this day, these minutes, to spend wisely as we connect to those we love and to things that matter. Each day needs to be viewed from the heavenly vantage point that looks at what really matters for eternity. What would happen if we took inventory of our time in the same way we gather information to make a family budget? What if we valued our 1440 minutes in the same way we valued last month’s income? And what would happen if we then planned those minutes, pie-charted them, organized them in a way that gave the most attention to those things that matter most?

How much time would you spend:

  • With a child on your lap?
  • Reading the Bible with your family?
  • Talking, listening, connecting with family and friends?
  • Reading, studying, learning together?
  • Sharing a walk, taking a jog, watching your kids play sports?
  • On your knees praying for those you love?

Claim your life.

God has placed the choices in your hands. This morning, you put your feet on the floor. 1440 minutes landed gently in your lap. With that gift, you can build the life you choose, or you can let your day choose itself. Either way, the story will begin. And it will tell a tale of what matters most in action and in truth.

About the author — Nadia Swearingen-Friesen

Nadia Swearingen-Friesen is a writer and national speaker with a passion for empowering parents to approach their families with great intentionality and grace.  Nadia and her husband, Mark, are the parents of four children and live in the Chicago area. Nadia also blogs at

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