Being a mother and wife is a rewarding calling, but it also has so many challenges. I am part of a mom’s group on Facebook. It is a group where I have found a lot of support and have been able to support other mothers as well. Recently, a distraught mother posted about how she was struggling to find time to read her Bible and spend time with the Lord. Immediately, I sympathized with her frustrations. I began to reflect about how much time I had spent with the Lord recently. It was shockingly little. Over the past month I had probably spent an hour total digging into the Word apart from time in community group and Sunday sermons. I had no advice to give this momma, but in a vain attempt to “help” I offered a suggestion to use an audio Bible.
It was shocking to think how little time I had spent with the Lord recently. I have a husband who faithfully spends time with the Lord daily and even helps other people study God’s Word through this site. I attended Moody Bible Institute and know how to study God’s Word. On top of that, I am active in my local church. My life should be a recipe for someone who is faithful in her time with the Lord, but it isn’t.
This shook me as I processed this reality with my husband. I began to wonder why it was such a challenge. I began to list all the things I do around the house and all the needs of my son. Explaining it to my husband, I relented that there is just so much going on that I do not have time to care of my own needs, let alone study the Bible. At that moment, I realized I had been equating my time with the Lord with “me time.” This is why I hadn’t been spending time with the Lord. As all mommas know, we put ourselves last on the priority list. Because I equated the two, that’s where my time with God landed.
As a stay at home mom and homemaker, when I wake up, I am in my office. I immediately notice the needs of the home and my family. So, my day begins with responsibilities.
A typical day begins with breakfast and ends with dinner, with a whole lot of cleaning and toddler tantrums in-between. A lot of time my day depends on the mood of my toddler. There are days I don’t even get completely dressed or even shower. Many days, by time my husband comes home from work, I am already exhausted. All I want to do is sit on the couch and zone out. I have made my whole day about everyone else besides myself.
Since I spend so little time thinking about myself, I really look forward to Saturdays. On Saturdays I leave the house for a few hours and have some time for myself. I usually bring my Bible, sit in a Starbucks, and dig into the Word. This is such a sweet time for me. No one is calling my name, no messes need to be cleaned, I just get to spend time with the Lord. I go home feeling relaxed and excited to see my family after having time for myself. There is a sense of peace I have after this “me time” that helps me to end my weeks well.
This time only happens on Saturday. This is my “me time.” But, because this only happens once a week, the rest of my days are focused on my family, home, and others. Due to my priorities, I realized I had unintentionally tied my time with the Lord to “me time,” and “me time” was the last thing I made time for throughout the week. This meant I was making my time with the Lord my last priority.
Realizing I had tied my self-care to my time with the Lord was a huge epiphany. As you read this, you might have realized you have done the same. If you were to ask me what my priorities are, I would list them in this order:
So, while my intention has been to have God as priority, I saw my time with Him as self-care. I had to change my view on my time with the Lord. My time with the Lord was not me taking time for myself, it was taking time FOR the Lord.
Once I changed my thoughts from being about me to it being about God, I was able to see how I had neglected my most important relationship, my relationship with the Lord. Sure, there are personal benefits that come from spending time with God, but it’s first and foremost about Him. It isn’t about me, it’s about Him!
Imagine if I said my husband was a priority in my life, but I never made time for him or spoke to him because I felt my relationship with him was for my personal development or for “me time.” My marriage would suffer greatly if I treated my husband the way I’d been treating the Lord. However, my husband and his needs are one of the first things on my mind each day. I think about spending time with him and how I can serve and love him well. I even schedule time in my day to make sure I have quality time with him, even if it is just sitting and talking.
Imagine how my time with the Lord would transform if I interacted with him the same way.
Imagine waking up in the morning and the first thing on your mind was not your husband, family, household, or stresses of life. Instead, what if it was on the Lord and how you could spend time with Him and serve Him that day? How differently would your day look?
When we shift our view and focus on our relationship with God, we will see a change in our behaviors. Why? Because beliefs dictate behavior. If God truly is a priority, and we realize that this means spending time with Him, we will indeed spend time with Him. I say this with grace, but it really is that simple.
How do we practically make time for the Lord? Well, think about how you make your family a priority. What do you do throughout the week to make them a priority? You get to know them better, you serve them, you spend time with them, etc. We can do those same things with the Lord.
How can you get to know the Lord better? By spending time in the Word and seeing His character and commands written on the pages of the Bible.
How do you serve the Lord? This can look like many things, but we can see His greatest commandments are to love the Lord and to love others.
How do we spend time with the Lord? We spend time in His Word, but also communicate with Him regularly throughout the day and not just at the beginning or end. Imagine if we only spoke to our spouse for the same amount of time we pray to God. This would not build a strong relationship with our spouse, nor does it help us in our relationship with God.
I would challenge you to evaluate what your priorities look like right now compared to what you want them to be. As a Christian, your number one priority is your relationship with the Lord. Recognizing that you haven’t made Him a priority recently, for whatever reason, is the first step to changing that. There are definitely seasons where it is going to be harder to spend time with the Lord, just as there are harder seasons for you to spend time with your spouse, or children. The important thing is that we are striving daily to make God our priority. He is not our “me time” that we often put last, He is what we ought to put first.
This week, meditate and journal on the following passages: