Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, August 16, 2013

"Gambling" At Home Rarely Works

I was behind a woman in line at a gas station/convenience store in Michigan the other day. And I couldn't help but notice that she spent sixty dollars on lottery tickets. I wondered if she gives up that kind of money every week or if she just felt lucky that day.

Either way, I know that the odds of her winning anything were infinitesimally small and that the significant portion of her money she was committing would likely be wasted.

Interestingly, it seems to me that there are a lot of things that we in our homes gamble on just as foolishly. 

We spend lots of resources - time, money, energy and emotion - hoping to get a  huge payday but unfortunately the odds are small. Let me suggest a few. 

We gamble that our kids will become a famous, successful superstar in something.  We secure the best coaches, send our kids off to other cities and/or follow them around the city or country hoping they will finally hit the big time.  And yes a small fraction make it and we see them on television. But the bigger percentage, like it is in gambling, never pay off. Is the gamble really worth it?

We gamble that as husband and wife we will love being with each other . . . AFTER our kids are grown. While the kids are in the house we might rarely date, work on our relationship or spend meaningful, intimate time together. Everything revolves around the kids. That is also a huge wager that rarely beats the house.

We also gamble that there will be time later to enjoy all the things we sacrificed while our family was growing. But sadly the numbers often work against us. A pastor we knew years ago worked hard and well at ministry and had planned to finally travel with his wife after he retired in his mid-60's. Sadly he died later during the year of his retirement. Gambling with death often won't beat the odds either.

We gamble that our kids will one day mature and be the kids we'd hoped they would be. In the meantime we can look the other way from bad behaviors, disrespectful attitudes and lazy habits. Providing our kids with purposeful lifechanging activities or involvement in a quality church youth program never becomes a priority.  As a result the odds increase that our kids will not grow in the ways we had dreamed they would.

You see the wise spouse and parent will not play the numbers for their future but simply do NOW those things that may not be available later when their bets are less likely to win. They work at as many of the best things they can in the present knowing that they all won't likely be there in the future. They don't let their hopes and dreams be relegated to the future only.

So don't make life at your house a poor bet. You can do better and win so much more by playing your relational chips today and tomorrow. God gave us the wisdom to do that now. Don't let the world's house win. Cash in today.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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