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What Do I Do if We Are Too Busy for Family Discipleship?

If you casually ask someone how they are doing, there is often a good chance you would hear the word “busy” in their response. If I asked you, “Are you too busy?” What would you say? It’s interesting when people say they are busy, there is rarely a qualifier on it. It’s not, “Well, we’re good busy” or “we’re bad busy”, we just know a lot is happening and move on to the next thing. The question I think we need to ask is “How busy is too busy?” 

When it comes to you, personally, how busy is too busy? Maybe you struggle with saying “yes” to everything or maybe the calendar took over so quickly your head is spinning trying to figure out how things ended up here. I think most people can relate. Maybe you find yourself in that situation with that sense of feeling overwhelmed. It can be a challenge because we convince ourselves we don’t have time to think we just have to do the next thing. When you hit this point of exhaustion it is often the people in your family that notice it first.

As our teenagers get older, they tend to get busier too. The demands on their time go up as they get older, and the activities they are involved with require more and more of our time. Practices get longer. Homework gets more difficult. Not to mention all of the social opportunities! If we’re not careful, our kids will drift into a pace of life that they simply cannot mentally and emotionally sustain. They may be able to push through seasons of being crazy busy, but this kind of pace over time is simply not healthy for our teenagers or our families.

So, when it comes to both you and your kids, what can you do to slow it down a little bit and build a more sustainable, intentional rhythm to life? No doubt there are essential things that make up your calendar each week, but we have to begin by evaluating what we believe to truly be essential that we hold tightly in our planning, while considering what may be less essential and held a little more loosely. Simply put, in order to make the time we need, there are always going to be things that you can say “no” to on your calendar.

I know it may sound crazy, but what if you, as their parents, helped your kids scale back the things they are involved in? What if, instead of pushing them to do and be involved in more, you led them to do and be involved in less in order to create the margin they need for the things that matter most? Obviously, we are not encouraging laziness or idleness. However, we are suggesting that you, who know your family’s rhythms better than anyone, simply step back and ask how you will make time to emphasize what matters most in your home.  Invite them into the conversation so you can lead them to make wise choices with their time.

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

Do you have time to actually do that? Do you have the space to pause the “doing” and just “be”, to reflect on God and your relationship with him? Do your kids have the time and space to just breathe and spend time with God growing in their faith or are they just way too busy to the point that they have no time for God? When they prioritize time to “be” with God it will no doubt result in a positive change in what they “do” as well. We can teach our kids that freedom can be found not in breaking all limits placed upon us, but in setting limits for ourselves to keep things in their rightful place.

As you step into a new season are there some things you can do for yourself as a parent to slow down and just be? Are there things that you can say “no” to in order to say “yes” to some better things? Can you develop an intentional, healthy rhythm for yourself and for your family that will lead you to a more peaceful home, to better relationships, and to a more healthy heart? Can you maybe sit down with your family and make some decisions not just about what you will be involved with, but even consider some good things you won’t be involved with in the coming months? One thing is for sure, it will be well worth it to develop a healthy, sustainable family rhythm that will create the margin for a healthier pace, meaningful relationships, and if you use your time wisely, stronger faith in your family. Be still and know that He is God.