In this world, there is so much pressure on families. Activities constantly pull on all of us. It becomes hard to prioritize and even harder to remember what we value sometimes. Life becomes a merry-go-round that is turning so fast we can’t get on or off, nor can our children. This is the broken world we live in.
I’ve been a single mom for most of my parenting journey. That adds a tremendous burden to an already challenging task. However, it has also created an opportunity for me to hone in on what is most important when it comes to raising children. Out of necessity, I have learned how to let go of the less important things and focus on what really matters, even when it is not the popular choice. For purposes of this article, I am going to focus on managing daily life in this broken world by putting God first. It sounds like another thing to do, but please bear with me. It is truly the answer.
As parents, not only are we handling cooking, cleaning, shopping, school, homework, driving here and there, laundry and work, we are trouble shooting car issues, health issues, emotional meltdowns, stress, bills and unexpected surprises. If we were to slow down, we are afraid we would drop something. Interestingly, that’s exactly where the enemy wants us: holding things up on our own, exhausted from the burden and striving for what this world says is important. Yet the bible says we get our strength from the Lord (Philippians 4:13) and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). If we are feeling burdened, we probably need to make some adjustments.
Think about this for a moment … what did Jesus do when He was on earth? He spent most of His time with people. He even told Martha that Mary was doing what was most important by sitting at His feet instead of tending to tasks (Luke 10:40-42). We are in a busy world. We are in a perpetual cycle of cleaning, organizing and getting ready for the next day. Our kids are in school all day, followed by activities, then homework and bed. On weekends, it’s catch up and prep time. We are grooming our children for overworking, striving and forgetting whose hand they need to be holding.
Life can be overwhelming which makes it hard to jump off of that merry-go-round when it is spinning so fast. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” We are not being asked to DO more. We are being called to be still and to remember who we serve. We are being called to slow down, not speed up. We are being called to relax, not stress. We are being called to trust what is unseen, not what is seen (2 Corinthians 4:18).
The antidote, my brothers and sisters, is this: quality time with God (even five minutes) every morning to start your day. If you read a devotional, be sure you are looking up the scriptures. The words in the devotional are meaningless without the words spoken directly by God. Remember that He is sovereign over everything. He is in control. It is by His strength that we have strength, by His power that we have power, by His will that we even have life. We need to eat a spiritual breakfast each day. We need to trust that He will cover us when we put Him first. I can’t tell you how many times He has done that for me. When Moses and the Israelites got to the Red Sea, it was then that the water was parted. When they got to the Jordan River, they had to first walk in and then God acted. He is always growing our faith; always growing our obedience. It is more important than ever to hear Him as we take each step in this broken world.
God cares about you and He cares about your children. This world is passing away (1 John 2:17). So what really matters? Your relationship with the Lord and your childrens’ relationships with the Lord. Everything else is temporary. So as you reflect on the coming days and weeks, build in time with God at the beginning of each day. Teach your children the value of that, not by lecture but by modeling and sharing it with them. Do it in joy. If you feel anxiety (which you very well may feel at first), remember you can trust Him. He is all-powerful and there is NO place better than at His feet. He will guide every step of your day if you let Him.
Relationships take time and they take consistency. Your parent-child relationship is no different. That includes you as the parent to your children and you as the child of your Heavenly Father. Take the time to consistently be with God each day. He will show you how to slow down the merry-go-round, how to prioritize and how to show your children what is important for them. Feel free to contact me if you need assistance with your children or with finding a way to make room for God. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation. Simply call 951-240-1407 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.