Pat Morley wrote a book twenty-five years ago called, Man in the Mirror. Over three million copies have been sold. In his book there is a sobering paragraph. I want to quote it. Could it be true?

Dr. James Dobson, the respected Christian psychologist, cites research done by Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner. W

anting to determine how much time middle-class fathers spent in contact with their kids each day, they asked these men to estimate the amount of time spent each day with their one-year old kids. The average respo

nse was fifteen to twenty minutes.

But then they attache

d microphones to the shirts of the kids to record actual parental interaction. The results are shocking. The average am

ount of daily time each Dad spent with his kids was thirty-seven seconds, an average of 2.7 daily encounters of ten to fifteen seconds.


Surely I averaged more than 37 seconds a day with my kids when they were one year old! I was a pastor in Dallas, Texas, when my children were in elementary school. I thought I spent a lot of quality time with my three. I have good memories and lots of pictures to prove it! However I remember one night when one of my sons, then 26 years old, was going through some personal challenges. I was in bed reading, when without any warning, he walks into the room, sits down, and with tears in his eyes he softly said, “Dad, I don’t remember you being there for me when I was small. I remember moving a lot and always being with you around church people, but I don’t have many memories of just you and me.” I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say. He was hurting, and I was dumbfounded. Rather than defend myself with a host of my own memories, I asked him to consider forgiving me. He graciously said he would. I then suggested that he get the 22 picture albums out of the closet to see if his perception was indeed accurate.

Pat Morley and his wife once took inventory of their investments, especially time investments. “One evening as we reviewed our calendar and a stack of time-consuming opportunities, the thought came, why not prioritize everything we do on the basis of who’s going to be crying at our funeral?” They did it and say the results saved their family. We all still spell love, T-I- M- E!

The song, Cats in the Cradle, is a very convicting song to us men.

My child arrived just the other day; he came to the world the usual way.
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay;  he learned to walk while I was away.

As Lee Iacocca points out, no one says on their death bed I wish I had spent more time on my business.

Go make a memory this week!

Mike Darnell
Counselor/Certified Life Coach

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