“…What advice do you have as a young mom and wife trying to find balance between our relationship with God and making sure our husbands needs are met, as well as making sure our kids love tanks are full? And ya know, making sure the house is picked up, kids are fed, laundry is put away, etc.”
–Question sent from Gabby
This was probably the hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn, and I’m still learning! Choosing priorities will always be different for each family, so be sure not to compare your lifestyle with anyone else. The main principles to remember is that you need to keep a tier set of God first, marriage second, kids third, ministry/work last. Once you’ve determined those priorities, each person will pick the little things to fill in at different places. For example, laundry is high on the list of household chores of one of my friends, but comes last on my list. I prefer to keep dishes high on that list!
“The way one family does life is going to be completely different than how another family does life. That’s ok because there should never be comparison in the body of Christ!” –Jenn Johnson (Bethel Church, Redding CA)
SO, the house chores are definitely the extras, and I personally feel that if you have the option of sitting and snuggling your kids a little longer, or folding a load of laundry, your children should always be priority. Your children won’t remember the unfolded laundry, they’ll remember the times you got down on your hands and knees and tickle wrestled with them!!
When it comes to devotional time, that’s always a struggle to keep in priority because it feels like I never “have time”…but that’s a very twisted perspective. If I ever feel myself think I don’t have time to read my Bible, I kick that to the curb and cancel all plans. Nothing will ever be more important than sitting at the feet of Jesus. If that means I stay up later at night, if that means I wake up before my kids, it’s inevitably going to happen. I can’t love and serve my family without my attention set to God first. Actually, I can, but I would be doing it all wrong and I’d be much more exhausted! My strength is founded on Christ alone.
My husband is a traveling musician, as you all probably know, which makes our rare times together ALONE far and few between. No matter what your professions are, making time to meet each others needs in marriage is a daily choice. Whether Chris is all the way across the ocean, or sitting right next to me, my radar is on and I initiate meeting his needs. That can look like rubbing his shoulders, or asking questions about his tours, or making him something to eat. If my kids are whining for food, guess who gets their dinner plate at the table first? My husband. This is a Biblical principle that most women forget. He is the head of our house, and the man I adore. My kids will always respect him and wait their turn! it takes 20seconds, and it may seem like a small detail, but it’s something to be aware of if we’re going to keep priorities in order. This also helps your children be aware of virtues such as patience, self control, love, peace. On a romantic level, Chris and I have a cute game. We count our kisses almost every day! So let’s say noon rolls around, and he gives me a little peck, he says “ONE”, and that reminds us that we spent almost half a day without even the slightest kiss. And we continue this throughout the day, making sure we hit a quota. If you have kids, you know that make out sessions are hard to keep up with, but there will always be time for quick kiss, a quick lock of the eyes, a quick comment of adoration to the other. Be aware! The more you give affection, the more you will receive from your spouse!
I hope this answers your question, finding balance starts with choosing priorities, acting on those priorities, being aware of your time, and making time when there is none!!
— Signed, AQ