The "Hard Work" of Playing with Your Kids

As a parent, it's real easy to come home from work, eat dinner, plop down on the recliner and after a few hours, get your children into bed.  It's more difficult to come home from work, eat dinner, and then spend some time playing with your kids before their bedtime.  Let's face it.  Playing with your kids can be hard work--especially if you have multiple young children. Dan Allender, from his book, How Children Raise Parents, writes:

Play requires more time and demands more engagement than does your work ... work is onerous and efficient, whereas play is fun and prodigally wasteful.  You can weed a flowerbed far faster alone than you can by involving a child in the process.  One can ride a bicycle far faster and farther without the encumberance of children.  A walk will produce more physical exercise when undertaken alone than it can if a child is tagging along asking questions about trees and birds and whether you saw that lizard dart into the rocks...Play is ridiculously inefficent.  It splurges and spends, often without any apparent return on its investment. 

Yes, playing with your kids demands more time and seems ridiculously inefficient.  But nearly every time I stop and get down on the floor and have fun with my kids, it is always worth it.  Though I might have missed out on reading another book or watching another T.V. show or planning ahead for the next day, I haven't missed out on their childhood years that are so quickly passing by.

And BTW ... I think God loves it when we play.  Maybe that's one reason why he gave us children--to remind us that we need to play so we can prepare for eternity.  After all, as C.S. Lewis once said, "The serious work of heaven is play."