Max on Life #121

The following is a one of 172 questions and answers from the new book, Max on Life.

My job requires lots of overtime, so I can’t attend many of my kids’ school activities. My wife worries about this a lot. Could this have a negative effect on our kids? Or on my relationship with them?

As a father of three girls, I struggled with the same issues. As God blessed my ministry, more and more calls came in from all over the world, wanting me to speak at churches, conferences, and grand openings of supermarkets. It was hard to say no at first. I felt every opportunity was from God.

Finally I realized that every time I said yes to something, I had to say no to something else. It’s called Max’s Yes Law of Inverse Dynamics. Look it up! It says this: with every yes in your schedule, there is an equal and opposite no reaction. When I said yes to another speaking engagement, I said no to another family dinner. When I said yes to another meeting, I said no to my girls’ volleyball game. When I said yes to another book tour, I said no to taking a walk with my wife.

So how do we show people that we love and believe in them? There are many ways to express those feelings—verbal affirmations, love letters, phone calls, even a quick text message saying, “I’m thinking of you.” They’re all good, but there’s one that’s the best.

I talked about it in my book A Love Worth Giving:

Do you believe in your kids? Then show up. Show up at their games. Show up at their plays. Show up at their recitals. It may not be possible to make each one, but it’s sure worth the effort . . . You want to bring out the best in someone? Then show up.
Now that my girls are all grown up, believe me, I’m glad I made that decision to show up before it was too late. Now (cue “Cat’s in the Cradle” in the background) I miss those Meet the Teacher Nights and seeing their papier-mâché volcano at the science fair and sitting in the stands at the big volleyball meet, even if they were on the bench the whole time.

When it comes to kids and family, it is a lot easier to make money than to make up lost time.

NEW Book!
Answers and Insights to your Most Important Questions
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2011) Max Lucado