We've been talking about the lies us dads buy on many levels. These ideas often sound like truth and may even contain some elements of truth. However, if we aren’t careful, we’ll find ourselves deceived and struggling in giving enough energy at home. Lie #3 of three in this series us dads buy is "I need time for hobbies."
Question: Are your hobbies eating up time from something more important?
Lie #3: “I need time for hobbies.”
I recently shared with my wife about an unusual hobby I had in elementary school. I’m not sure how it didn’t come up earlier in our 17 years of marriage, but I supposed I’d kept this close. Who knows if she’d have stuck with me if this had come up during premarital counseling? You’re probably wondering what this hobby was.
Well, I was a founding member of my school’s Stamp Club. I’m not talking about amazing looking rubber stamps. I’m talking about a club where I learned how to steam postage stamps off envelopes and we would show off the different stamps we collected. Even as I type this dark part of my past, I’m losing a little respect for myself.
You probably aren’t a member of a Stamp Club (but if you are, let me know so I can join); but, I’m guessing you have a hobby or two. It may be fishing, golf or coffee cupping. Perhaps your job isn’t diverting your energy from your family time—maybe it’s your hobby.
You may find yourself getting home just a little bit later because you decided to swing by the driving range. Or perhaps you’re at home, but you’re spending all those hours out in the garage tinkering with your car instead of inside talking with your children. Biblical fatherhood understands his stewardship of time, energy and resources is crucial to his example in the home and outside of it.
It’s great to have a hobby. I think they’re fantastic. Hobbies can help us avoid becoming consumed by work and stress. However, it’s possible for hobbies to become a time and energy drain.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you evaluate your hobbies.
- Do I put more resources (time, energy, finances) into my hobby than I do into free time with my family?
- When I’m with my kids, am I thinking of my hobby?
- If I’m honest, would I rather hang out with my family or be participating in my hobby?
Don’t stress out if your answers to your questions concern you. There is hope!
As a godly husband and father, consider what a shift in your hobbies might look like. I’m not suggesting you quit all hobbies that don't involve your kids. I am suggesting you look to divide your recreational time with a slight bent toward time with your family. It’s good to find times for your own personal hobbies. Just make sure it doesn’t eat into every bit of your family time.
Maybe you could do stamp collecting early in the morning while no one’s awake? No wait, that’s worse. There’s a second shift to consider as well. What are some new hobbies your family can pursue together? Conduct a family brainstorm session to find something every member of the family would enjoy at some level. You can also pull your kids into existing hobbies so you can build new memories together.
About the author > Mike Lovato, M. Div.