Encouragement for Today
“Helping Kids Set Priorities”
Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor P31 Woman Magazine, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (NIV)
When my three boys were small, I used to look at families with older children and think, “I’ll never get that busy.” I now understand the challenge of balancing kids’ interests, responsibilities, available time and energy, and the importance of letting them just be kids.
As my boys get older, their interests are more intense and time consuming. Between commitments to church, music, sports and school, their time is stretched – and so is mine. After a relatively quiet summer, we are gearing up for a busy fall. I know my children will want to be actively involved in everything. It’s up to my husband and me to be the gatekeepers for their schedules, and help them set priorities.
If we model our lives after Jesus, we learn that He incorporated a lot of interests into His day. He socialized at parties, met new people, spent time with friends, went to church, taught, worked, honored the Sabbath, and He knew when to step out of the demands of the day to rest and pray. That’s the key. Jesus knew His priorities, and He knew when He needed to reconnect with His heavenly Father.
As my husband and I try to teach our kids good time stewardship, there are a few things we’ve learned from the life of Jesus and from personal experience that might help you:
- Talk to your child about the importance of honoring God with our time. Explain that we are managers (stewards) of the time God has given to us, and we need to use our time wisely, and according to God’s will for our lives.
- Make church attendance a priority. Consider it a tithe of time. Give God the first and best part of your week. We are encouraged to not give up this time of worship and fellowship with believers.
- Set a time of rest during the year. Pick a season where no extra activities are added on. In our family, it’s summer. Instead of joining library book clubs, sports teams or swim clubs, our activities are based around the home.
- Consider the reasons for taking on a new activity or responsibility. Is it really because your child wants to do it, or is there influence from a friend? Talk about this issue.
- Encourage your child to pray about new commitments before making a decision. Teach your children to ask God for direction, and then expect Him to answer. Encourage children to take time during the day for personal prayer and Bible reading.
- Check your own motives. Is it possible you are encouraging your child to pursue an activity that satisfies a personal dream? Lay your personal lost dreams before the Lord and watch what He will do with them.
We have a limited time with our children to teach important life skills. As Christian mothers, one important skill we can pass on is good time stewardship. The writer of Ecclesiastes understood the frailty of time, yet the importance of using it wisely. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (NIV) Help your children learn to seek God’s will for their time as they make decisions about every opportunity.
My Prayer for Today:
Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your mighty works and faithfulness. Thank You for giving me today. I pray for Your guidance as I seek to live a life pleasing in Your sight. Help me to make the best use of my time, and to teach my children to honor the time You’ve given them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
List your child’s various responsibilities. Is there something that causes undue strain on the rest of the family? Pray with your child about God’s will for this activity.
Why is time stewardship important to master?
What are some motives for filling our days with endless activities?
Evaluate your child’s schedule. Are there any activities that are negatively impacting your child’s character? (Example – negative influence, causing anger, etc.)
Are you a good role model of time stewardship?
What could you do differently in your life to be a better role model in this area?
Psalm 40:8, “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." (NIV)
Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)
1 John 5:14, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (NIV)
James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (NIV)
Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)
A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst & Sharon Jaynes
Message of the Month Club, by Proverbs 31 Ministries
P31 Woman Magazine, by Proverbs 31 Ministries