The Jesus-Centered Home #1: Your Personal Quiet Time

Many women ask the question, "how do I keep Jesus at the center?" This particularly becomes an issue amidst the business of life: school (whether public, private, or at home, it's all busy), sports, family commitments, extracurricular events, church activities, last-minute projects, jobs, and of course, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I want to share with you some simple ways that I try to do this in our home. Though I'm not a mother of ten, or a woman with adult children, I still hope that by sharing these things, I might help encourage another mother who, like me, wants to keep Jesus at the center of family life.

If I don't make this a priority now, why should my kids listen to me in 5 or 10 years when I'm encouraging
them to have a quiet time? They need to see, day in, day out, my dependence on the holy word of God. By no means am I legalistic about this, but I try to use the FIRST discretionary time I have each day for time with the Lord. I want my kids to see how important my relationship with Christ is, and so, they often get told to "hang on and find something to do for a few minutes" while I wrap up my time with God. They see me treasuring His word, and they see me in prayer. Sometimes they join in, or want to get their Bibles and sit up next to me on the couch. I don't heap guilt on myself if I don't always accomplish it, but I do try to use the first "free" time in the day to spend time studying the Word.

If you have kids or are at home:
before the kids wake up, while the kids eat breakfast (take yours to the couch if you can, while they eat), while nursing the baby, while they watch a video, when they first lay down for naps/afternoon quiet time, when they are playing, while they have a reading time.
If you work or have daytime commitments: Before you hit the job, while eating your breakfast, while blowdrying your hair (I'm not kidding- if you have long hair like I used to, you know what I'm talking about-- it takes at least 10 minutes!), on your lunch break, or before you turn on the news when you get home.

These are all good times to "build in" a routine of giving God the first free part of your day (even if that's a different time every day).

Jesus is not going to be at the center of our family life if He's not at the center, the critical center, of my own life. As wives and mothers, we "set the scene" for family life. Our mood often dictates the mood of the home: whether angry or accepting, fault-finding or forgiving, guilt-dispensing or grace-giving, our family feeds off of our cues. We must be centered on Christ, depending DAILY on the Word, or our life and ultimately our family's life will suffer.

If this isn't an area of consistency in your life, don't feel like you have to commit to two hours a day of focused study. Just ask God to give you ___ focused minutes tomorrow morning. Set a goal that's reasonable for you. For example:

"Lord, help me to spend 15 minutes with You (10 minutes reading and 5 minutes in prayer for my family) by 3pm tomorrow afternoon."
"Lord, help me read through one chapter of Philippians by lunchtime."

Whatever you do, don't set yourself up for defeat by starting out with huge goals but burning out quickly. Make reachable, reasonable goals, and then carry them out. Ask God to give you a desire for the Word, and to help you to make this time with Him a priority every day. Let me encourage you to take this first step in making your home a Jesus-centered home.

May God use this time in your life to change your family life for His glory.

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1 comment:

Christina said...

Amen! This has been an area that God has given me much growth in this past year. I appreciate the advice to give the first "free" part of your day. I usually try to wake up earlier than the kids, but when that doesn't happen (or the baby wakes up earlier than usual), I like the idea of looking for the first time in the day that I have available to spend with the Lord.

We have a rule that the older kids are not to come downstairs until 7am so I can have my devotions in the morning. A while ago, my daughter Amy came and woke me up at 7am saying,"Mommy, get up! You're supposed to be reading your Bible!" They are watching everything we do!