I watched a video depicting this story the other day and it really impacted me, so I thought I’d share it with you. A father came home very tired and aggravated by a bad day at work. No sooner did he enter the house than his ten-year-old son asked him, “Daddy, what is your hourly wage?” His father looked at him as if he didn’t actually hear what his son said. So the Father asked him to repeat his question. Again the boy asked, “How much money do you get paid in an hour.” This proved too much. The father was already upset about how things went at the office, now he’s being interrogated by his son wanting to know how much he earns per hour?
In very strong and harsh word the father scolded him severely. “You mean, it doesn’t matter that I came home after working all day to put food on our table and a roof over our heads? Instead of asking me how was I doing, you interrogate me on my salary? What kind of spoiled brat are you? You don’t deserve anything to eat, so go to your room, close the door, and stay there until you’re told you can come out.” With tears brimming up in his eyes, the little boy slouched back to his room with head bowed and closed the door behind him.
After the father read the newspaper and calmed down, he started thinking that he had been too rough with his son. In fact, he didn’t even ask his son what he wanted to know. So slowly the father walked down to the room and opened the door to see his son sitting on the bed with his eyes closed. He said to his son, “Listen, I think I was a little to mean to you when I got home. I didn’t mean to be so hateful but I had a bad day at the office. By the way, why did you ask? The boy said, I wanted to see if you would give me ten dollars. “Ten dollars, yelled his dad! What have you done to even deserve a dollar, let alone ten dollars.” And with that, the father turned, walked out of the room, and slammed the door behind him.
When mealtime came, the mother asked if he was going to let their son eat. The father was one to be strict and discipline his son, but there was no reason to make him suffer any longer. So, again he went down to his son’s room and told him he could come out to eat. But before the boy was able to get up to leave, in a sense of remorse for treating his son the way he did, he reached into his wallet and gave his son ten dollars.
The boy was elated! He ran to his chest of draws and pulled out his piggy bank. He quickly emptied it of the coins and wadded up dollar bills that were in there. The look on the father’s face was that of one who realized he had just been scammed. “You already had money! How much did you have? Why would you need ten dollars from me?”
The boy said calmly, with a smile on his face that made it seem as though he didn’t detect his father’s anger, “The reason I asked you how much money you were paid an hour is because I wanted to give you that much so when you get home you would spend an hour with me so we could talk and have fun.” As the boy held out his twenty dollars, the father felt a sense of shame go through his whole body. With tears, he apologized to his son. He realized that he did seem to live just for himself. His time was for his interests. As they walked to the kitchen table, the mother saw them smiling and hugging each other. She was delighted when she heard their story.
How much would you charge your children for one hour of their undivided attention? Should they even have to pay you at all? If we were to try and calculate how much one hour of God’s time would cost, there’s no number big enough. And what if He charged us for the blessings He freely shares with us? This same principle applies not only for parents and their children but for husbands and wives. Don’t ever say to your spouse, “I love you,” unless they can have your undivided attention any minute of any day. – Dr. Robert R Seyda