I’m not quite sure why this thought came to my head today. It’s just one of those butterflies I chase every once in a while. For some reason, however, I began pondering this concept of quantity time versus quality time. Where did I hear this concept? I heard it in church of all places. Not one, but many preachers have applied this concept to the family. My determination this morning is that not only is this concept not biblical, but it is not accurate either. This is a business construct that people believe they can apply to the home.
From a business standpoint, quantity versus quality works. It is better to go in to work and devote four hours of hard, focused work than to go in and spend eight to twelve hours “half-assing” it. You can accomplish more in a short burst of focused energy than in long periods where you can tend to procrastinate. Procrastination leads to losing focus on the task at hand and making mistakes.
From a family standpoint, quantity versus quality just doesn’t work. Your job needs your work output. Your family needs your presence. Your children are growing, developing, and changing every day. They go from total dependence on you to developing their own thoughts, dreams, and desires. If you don’t spend that quantity time, you’ll blink and they will be grown and you won’t even know who they have become. Their thoughts and likes and dislikes change so often that if you aren’t spending that quantity time with them, you won’t even know what quality time means to them. If you aren’t devoting the time, then you’ll find yourself forcing your likes, dislikes, and dreams on them instead of developing the relationship necessary to nurture their likes, dislikes, dreams and personality. Your family doesn’t need your bursts of work output. Your family needs you. They need enough time with you to know who you are, and you need enough time with them to know who they are. Your family needs to know that if they need you, you are there. They need to know that they come before your job. They need to know that they matter and are at the top of your priority list.
That being said, I believe that the biggest problem in America today is that the family unit is becoming obsolete. We have replaced our family with work. We have lost the concept that work is to provide for the ones we love, and we have replaced it with identifying ourselves with what we do in the workforce and “loving” our work. We have come to a place where we treat our family as a form of entertainment for the times between work. We need to get back to identifying ourselves by our family and truly loving our family.