Walk circumspectly, . . . redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15–16
Time is one commodity that we can never store up. Like manna, it must be used presently, or it is forever lost. Ephesians 5:16 tells us to redeem the time. This means to buy it back, utilize it, and invest it to the best ends. Time is valuable. Time should be invested properly. Time must be redeemed.
Life is composed of seasons, or periods of time. Each season has specific demands. We are given an allotment of time on the earth, which we refer to as our lifespan. We are responsible to steward our time on earth. That means we must choose how we use it. What are some ways we can redeem the time?
Spend time with family. There is no substitute for quantity time spent with our spouses and children. Quality time and special moments can be meaningful, but it’s quantity time that makes the difference. Accurate knowledge of people’s character is discovered only through prolonged exposure with them.
Time is the darkroom in which the photograph of our inner natures becomes focused and clearly seen. If we are going to really know our families, we need periods of extended contact with them. Work, necessities, and emergencies require significant amounts of our time, but we must arrange our lives so we also have protracted periods with our loved ones.
Use time wisely. Time is perishable. Like real estate, its supply is limited. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time, or season, for everything (see Eccles. 3:1). Discerning seasons is imperative if we want to employ our allotted time appropriately. Children require training, correction, and affection. Young people require conversation, understanding, guidance, and relationship. Young adults need belonging, closeness, and friendship. Aging adults need fellowship and assistance. Seasons dictate how we invest this precious resource called time.
Everyone has twenty-four hours a day. We cannot stop or fast-forward the clock. Redeeming the time means using it wisely. This requires discipline. The fruit of diligence is accomplishment. The consequence of productively redeeming our time is laying up treasure on earth and in heaven.
Set time-sensitive goals. We must implement short-term steps in order to achieve long-term desires. Everybody should make time to write out life goals. Categories should include family goals, financial goals, spiritual goals, relational goals, ministry goals, health goals, personal-growth goals, educational goals, and so on.
Dedicating a “dream wall” in our homes is a good idea. Most of the pictures on people’s walls deal with their history—photographs of relatives and places that have special meaning to them. Why not have one wall dedicated to our futures? We can place on it pictures and images of things we want to accomplish, places we want to visit, and things we want to do.
It’s important to write our goals on paper as well. We shouldn’t be shy—we should dream big. We should make our spouses a priority. We must also determine to cherish our children. We need to go after their hearts and the hearts of our grandchildren. One of our goals should be winning their affection. We can redeem the time by doing the most for the people who will be weeping at our graves. Our families are our primary assignments. We should set goals and then pray, prepare, and plan for life’s most important relationships. We will find a way to achieve the things that we continually see in front of us. That’s why visualization is important.
Invest for reward. Small sums add up. Financial experts talk about the magic of compounding. Investing a part of every paycheck is a discipline that yields wealth over time. In retirement, we get what we plan for, not what we hope for. Continuous investment in our families also yields tremendous dividends. Our treasure is where our hearts are (see Matt. 6:21), so we need to be investing in our fami-lies. As our hearts are turned toward the Lord, He in turn will draw our families closer together. Malachi 4:6 says, “He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” God has a burden for families. As we draw near to Him, He unifies our homes. That’s why a revived spirit will deeply impact family relationships. One sure result of meeting God afresh is a turning of our hearts toward our family members.
- What does your daily calendar reveal about your priorities?
- Take time now to write down your life goals. If you already have goals, review and update them.
- Plan steps of action to gain, regain, or strengthen your family relationships.
Written by Evangelist Harold Vaughan
This chapter is taken from “Home Improvement – Keys to Building a Happy Home“.