When a newborn is put into the hands of a parent for the first time, that parent has 936 weeks before that child turns 18.
- 936 Saturdays to go on adventures.
- 936 Sundays to worship together.
- 936 Mondays to seize the week.
- 936 Wednesdays to get over the hump of the week.
936 weeks. They are a gift.
While parenting doesn’t end at age 18, it is a sizable transitional time. I got my children to work on a math problem with me last week to determine how many weeks were left until they turned 18. We then put a penny in a mason jar for every week remaining.
I’ve heard of parents who take a penny out of the jar every week at a specific time.
While it seems like a somber ritual, it reminds parents that children are a gift (Ps. 127:3) and the time in the home is relatively short and should be used with wisdom (Eph 5:15-16).
As the pennies decrease over the years, it is a reminder that in parenting, the days often seem long but the years seem short. The time goes by quickly. Every week, I am investing a week of my child’s life into something. As I take that penny out of the jar, I am depositing it somewhere. As a steward of what God has given me in the gift of my children, am I spending these weeks wisely?
- Am I teaching my children regarding righteousness (Gen. 18:19)?
- Am I teaching them to put their hope in God (Ps. 78:7)?
- Am I bringing them up in the instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4)?
- Am I modeling a love for the LORD in front of them (Deut. 6:5-7)?
As I write this, two of my jars are half empty. Another one of my jars is one-third empty.
How will I invest my remaining time with them?
[For more on this thought, check out the sermon “Teach Your Children Diligently.”]
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.