What is more important, quantity or quality of time?
I am going to argue for quantity with quality as your aim.
I do not believe that quality time can exist apart from a large quantity of time,
or maybe it is better said, there is a direct correlation between depth of quality and length of quantity with regard to time, and the quantity causes the correlation in a large degree.
For example, if I plan the best vacation for my son and I to enjoy together, but I spend 2 minutes with him for the 6 weeks leading up to that vacation, the potential for quality time on that great vacation is relatively small.
On the other hand, if I spend a couple of hours a day with him leading up to the same vacation, the potential for quality time increases dramatically.
Let me say this real quickly: quantity does not automatically produces quality; intentionality is still required. You cannot simply sit in the same general physical location with another person and call it “quantity” – the “quantity” I am talking about here is engaged time.
Do not try to take away a formula here.
There is no magic number for amount of time spent with your kids, friends, family, wife, whoever to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Some great Christian fathers spent one hour a day with their 8 children. Other fathers spend two hours a day (on average) with their 1 child. You need to know your child, spouse, whoever. You need to know what they need, what amount of quantity will prep the groundwork for the greatest quality.
Quality time is what we are all after, right? This is the soil where growth, vulnerability, and life happen best.
But do not be mistaken, if you are after quality time apart from quantity, you will have some shallow soil that will not sustain or feed any deep roots.
Are the big events important? Yes, but much more important are the small ones.
Are the summer church camps important? Yes, but much more are the Christ-centered conversations at dinner every evening.
Are the anniversary trips important? Yes, but much more are the trips to the grocery with your wife just to study her and know her better.
Are the neighborhood Super Bowl parties important? Yes, but much more are the hundreds of conversations in the driveway as you part ways.
When the lights and camera are on, it is important.
When nobody is looking, it is infinitely more important.
If you dump 10 gallons of water on a new squash plant at once, it will drown.
If you dump 10 gallons of water consistently over a period of weeks on the same plant, it will flourish and produce delicious, quality fruit (or vegetables…).
Let us run with endurance (Hebrews 12:1), not sprint to our death; this is much more difficult.
It is much easier to plan one weekend away and prep yourself for that one weekend, much more difficult to be engaged everyday, which is why it will take great discipline, planning, conviction, accountability, and encouragement.
God could have wiped all of us out, rightly so, and it would have been much “easier.” But instead, He sent Jesus to live as one of us and die for all who would trust in Him, so that we could pursue relationships the same way He did, to our death. This will not happen on your own strength; it must happen by the power of the Spirit from the starting place of the gospel.
think back on some of the greatest “quality” times of your life, why was it so quality? What seed had been planted? How had the soil been nurtured and tended?