Many Christians hold the belief that making God a priority is essential to the faith. However, what if you find yourself with no time in your day to accomplish this?
I so appreciate Emily’s question:
What if there’s no room in your schedule to dedicate a few moments to God? I can’t find any gaps in my day. I’m fortunate if I manage to get four hours of sleep with our baby and five-year-old constantly needing me throughout the night. Does God comprehend my situation, or does He place the responsibility on me to create time no matter what? I’m aware that He sees my intentions, but does He anticipate more from me than I think I can provide? This is a daily battle for me.
These feelings of conviction are relatable to most. If God indeed understands, then what are His expectations of us?
▼ Jump to Listen to Episode #43: Seeking God Amidst Diapers and Dishes: Is it Possible?▼
God’s Grace is Unwavering
Amidst the everyday trials of parenting, God’s grace doesn’t waver. This comforting reminder is a balm for weary caregivers, an assurance that our struggles are seen and understood. Isaiah 40:11 says, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” God understands the demands of hectic schedules and sleepless nights.
However, it’s important not to misuse this grace. God also knows what is best for us. Investing daily time with Him will consistently be the superior choice. Often, in the midst of the everyday chaos, this might seem like an unattainable goal. Nonetheless, the rewards of seeking God will surpass anything on our lengthy to-do list.
Determining My Top Priority
The first step involves a conscious choice: Is God going to be a top priority in our lives or not? If He indeed takes precedence, we’ll ensure we make time for Him, as we are not mere victims of our circumstances. However, if God is not a priority, we’ll likely find the excuses growing.
Elevating God to a priority level requires a critical examination of how we allocate our time. This entails an honest assessment of how we truly spend our 24 hours each day. To assist in this process, I’ve crafted a free scheduling template for your use. It’s a tool to help you record your activities on an hourly basis with full transparency. At the end of the week, take a moment to assess your time allocation.
When I led this activity in the Intentional Journey Group, the participants were astounded by the substantial amount of “wasted” time that slipped through their grasp daily. It was time spent scrolling on their phones, watching movies, or engaged in superfluous busywork. The $15 Be Intentional Planner has proven to be a valuable tool for numerous women in their journey toward intentionality with their time.
Returning to the question, “Does God understand?” naturally leads to the follow-up question, “Does God expect more than I believe I can give?”. I believe the answer is, “Yes.” This isn’t due to any unkindness, lack of love, injustice, or a lack of mercy on God’s part, but rather it stems from His inherent kindness, justice, love, and mercy. His desire is for us to flourish which is best achieved through the daily commitment of spending time with Him.
Making God a Priority
Here are a few tips that Melanie and I have found helpful in making time with God a priority.
1. Wants vs Needs
Distinguishing between what your children’s needs and wants is crucial. Ask yourself, “Am I serving in ways that I’m enabling my child, or am I serving in ways that I’m training my child?” Enabling signifies that you are completing tasks for your children that they are fully capable of handling themselves. In contrast, training involves taking deliberate steps to empower your children, ultimately working yourself out of a job. In the context of devotional time, this could entail training your child to have independent play for a brief period, allowing you the space to concentrate on your time with God. Read how to have a daily time with God.
2. Instagram Expectations
Embrace the notion that your time with God probably won’t be Instagram worthy each day. While we would all love to be by a stream while drinking a hot cup of coffee or tea, for most this is not a realistic setting for daily quiet times. There will be interruptions. But I believe this is where grace comes in.
3. Take the Word and Prayer into Your Daily Life
Invite God into your daily routine – include Him in your chores, conversations, and moments with your kids. Use the 31 Days of Prayer Download as a guide to pray over your children. This will make your daily time with God even more sweet.
4. Involve Your Child
Get interrupted for potty training? Take your Bible time into the bathroom and read the Bible out loud with your child. Does your child want to have a quiet time too? Print off one of the many free Bible worksheets available on the ABCJesusLovesMe.com website for the child to color while you engage in your devo time.
5. Walk the Walk
Still not convinced? We must model the importance of needing God, so our children learn to seek Him in their own lives. After all, isn’t this what we desire for our kids?
In the chaos of parenthood, finding time for God may seem like an insurmountable challenge, but it’s not impossible. Remember that God understands your situation, yet He continually invites you to make Him part of your daily life. By making it a priority while balancing your children’s needs with their wants, you can experience a deeper connection with God amid your busy life. So, let’s step away from the excuses, embrace our need for Him, and find joy, peace, and strength in His presence.