Link to the video: welcome to my kitchen table: episode 1 (I’m not sure if this will work but the video is in the closed Facebook group Hope Moms of Teens)
I was relaxing in a yin yoga class a few weeks ago and our instructor, Amy, was describing the difference between the 2 Greek words for time. She said one was for the quantity of time and the other was for quality of time. She was encouraging us to be present in the moment and not focus on schedules.
This week’s chapter in the “5 Love languages of teenagers” was entitled “Quality Time”.
I felt lead to investigate the greek words further. According to Wikipedia:
Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens.
Ahhh….Kairos, I remember that was the name of the prison ministry in Texas that I made molasses crinkle cookies for years ago. I still have the recipe but I never knew what Kairos meant. I thought it had something to do with prison. Maybe it is related to “doing time”.
Anyway, I decided to see what the bible had to say about kairos. In a resource book called Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter, I found some great info and bible references:
The following verses stood out to me as I prayed that God would teach me through this word in His Word!
Romans 5:6 “At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people.”
What a perfect place to start. The foundation of our faith. That Christ died for our sins! And God was intentional in His timing. He has a plan. And it has a time. Not just a chronos but a kairos.
Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”
We are instructed to repent, to take action… and to turn to God in our sin. That may not sound like fun….but look… He not only has the power to forgive but to wipe out our sin. I am reminded of the first time I heard this visual of wiping a slate clean.
I was doing my first biblically based parenting book group study. A neighbor had asked me if I was interested. She had arranged for a babysitter to come to her house and watch our children and we would meet next door at my house. ….without kids! I loved my babies but was excited to be refreshed by discussing a book with adults!
There are so many examples of how God worked on my hard heart and skeptical attitude through this group but the example for today is about the clean slate. One Mom shared with us that she had had an abortion years ago. When she became a Christian, she repented and was forgiven. But a few years later she was filled with shame once again and confessed this sin to the Lord again. She felt in her soul that God was saying “what are you talking about? what abortion?” Through the mystery of Jesus’ death on the cross, her since was already forgiven and the slate was clean! There was no record of this wrong. She was free! Free to move on. without shame!
I sat there quietly listening. Perhaps someday I would be free and refreshed as she had been. My heart softened a little that day as a spark was lit. Hope of my own kairos of forgiveness and refreshing.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11
“1 There is a time for everything.
There’s a time for everything that is done on earth.
2 There is a time to be born.
And there’s a time to die.
There is a time to plant.
And there’s a time to pull up what is planted.
3 There is a time to kill.
And there’s a time to heal.
There is a time to tear down.
And there’s a time to build up.
4 There is a time to cry.
And there’s a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad.
And there’s a time to dance.
5 There is a time to scatter stones.
And there’s a time to gather them.
There is a time to hug.
And there’s a time not to hug.
6 There is a time to search.
And there’s a time to stop searching.
There is a time to keep.
And there’s a time to throw away.
7 There is a time to tear.
And there’s a time to mend.
There is a time to be silent.
And there’s a time to speak.
8 There is a time to love.
And there’s a time to hate.
There is a time for war.
And there’s a time for peace.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Wow…these verses have A LOT of kairos!
In light of love languages, I wanted to touch on 2 in particular:
5b There is a time to hug. And there’s a time not to hug.
Last week we discussed the language of physical touch. Teenagers need about 20 touches from their family/ day! And the more they are touched lovingly (to include rough housing, playful elbowing etc.) at home, the less they will seek it elsewhere.
But we also read that timing is important. Watch out for body language, bad moods, or public places. These fall into the the second sentence of the verse.
This photo posted by a friend is a good example of “when not to hug a teen!”
7b There is a time to be silent. And there’s a time to speak.
This was completely part of the quality time chapter in respect to conversation. And personally a big challenge for me. (surprised huh?)
Tip #5 is “Refuse to interrupt”. It says that “research has indicated that the average individual listens for only seventeen seconds before interrupting an interjecting his own idea – parents might even be quicker than that.” This was the tip that I attempted to follow this week. Progress is slow!!
This particular paragraph was enlightening to me:
But….but… but I love to give unsolicited advice to my kids!! I had to give up giving it to my husband when we listened to “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” on a car trip many years ago…it was on cassette tapes. My kids might not know what those are but they know what UA is…. our code for that awful Unsolicited Advice! They are becoming adults and part of treating them like adults requires some changes in us!
God’s kairos in prayer:Ephesians 6:18 ” At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God’s people.”
Kairos in prayer! Prayer by the power of the Holy Spirit!! Yes! Because in my own power I would most likely gloss over my sin and or be selfish in my requests or in the time of prayer. To acknowledge and ask the for the power of the Spirit is key! At ALL Times. And for me, to keep me focused. to be watchful. The last sentence is rich.
Always (that is a kairos word)
keep on (persevere)
for all of God’s people (not just yourself)
This week some of the Hope Moms (and one adorable baby) came over to watch “The War Room”.
This is an incredible movie about the power of prayer. And it centers on the war room, which is a distraction free closet! A space to spend time with God and pray and read His word. In the movie they had prayer requests and verses all over the wall. I haven’t cleaned out any closet yet but it wouldn’t be a bad idea.
The Five Love Languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman: Chapter Five
Love Language #3: Quality Time
- Be There, Really Be There
- Quality Conversation: Asking and Listening, Tips: maintain eye contact, don’t multi-task, Listen for feelings, Observe body language, Refuse to interrupt, Ask reflective questions, Express understanding, Ask permission to share your perspective. Learning to Talk to a teen: Speak in “I” statements, Teach instead of Preach, Offer Reasons
- Quality Activities: Be involved in everyday activities, Create environments for QT: choose events they like or a trip that interests, let them help in planning. Recognize their need for friends.
- Have you heard your teen say, “You’re treating me like a child”? As a parent, have you transitioned from viewing your teen as a child to who they are now? Does your view and investment of quality time now meet the needs of a teenager?
- As a teen, did you feel your parents really listened to you? How might they have improved as listeners? As a parent, do you take steps to ensure quality listening and dialog?
- Do you remember a time when your father or mother set aside time to do a special activity with you? What did that communicate to you?
- Most teens have growing interests. Determine to dialog with your teen to learn how you might spend quality time with your teen in ways that will advance their own interests.
- Pick one of the creative ideas from end of the chapter, pp.92-94, to implement this week.
Here are some of my favorite kairos times with my kids:
- walking in the neighborhood in the evening (or on the beach when we lived there)
- vacations especially when we plan it together
- volunteering together
- weekend trips to other cities or on college tours. As my kids say “Mom loves a good city!”
- playing “least favorite/most favorite part of your day” at dinner
- spending time in the car
- watching or going to sporting events together. I became a Redskins and Grizzlies fan to bond with my husband and kids. (apologies to my hometown of Pittsburgh). We even facetimed our son into our family room when watching the Redskins during his first semester at college.
- and the ever popular…..sitting in the Emergency room??? ;-( …
I’m sure there are plenty more and I could dig up photos but it is now time to make some dinner for the hungry family.
I hope each of you enjoy kairos with your peeps!