The age old debate when it comes to relationships is quality time vs. quantity time. Quality time refers to the caliber of the time we invest, and quantity time refers to the amount of time we spend. There is a story of a little child who was asked, “Which would you prefer, quality time or quantity time?” His answer, “Oh, definitely quality time…and lots of it.” I often ask myself, “Is there really quality time that is not also quantity time?” How much would Diane appreciate it if I said, “Honey, I want us to have quality time together. You get 25 minutes of quality time this week.”? She would be perfectly justified in asking for more time.
One of Dr. Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages (five basic ways we demonstrate and receive love) is quality time. Quality time takes place when distractions are eliminated, the person is given undivided attention, and there is personal and deep bonding. To those of us who are quite used to preparing our food in the microwave, it can be a real adjustment to slow down long enough to have the significant conversations that result in relational growth. Most of those conversations occur during quality time that is part of quantity time.
How can we create more quality time with those we love? Here is one hint: The average American family has the TV on (or are on devices) 49 hours per week. Focus on the Family published data suggesting that the average family has meaningful conversation for 39 minutes a week. We might need to consider important adjustments to be able to invest in the lives of those we love the most to create both quantity and quality time.
I hope we are able to see, also, the application of these ideas to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We love him so much that we will want to spend both quality and quantity time with him. Certainly, we can whisper a quick prayer in some situations with great effectiveness. We also need periods of time where we learn to appreciate the presence of Christ. What if we made it a point to eliminate distractions, give him our undivided attention, and spend some time in personal and deep bonding with Christ? What if we made it a point to demonstrate how much we value him by choosing to be with him over the many things that may appeal to us and be available to us? What if we made it a point to have deep personal conversations with him that will result in our growth? Our lives would be changed by seeking more quality and quantity time with the Lord and with those we love.