Your Child’s Heart: How do you Find the Time? Part 1

In the previous posts in this series of “Keeping Your Child’s Heart”  I’ve pointed out that the ultimate goal of gaining our child’s heart is to make disciples of Christ.  In order to do that we must discipline and instruct them (Ephesians 6:4).  We can do neither of these without spending both quality and quantity time with our children.  This brings us to the question, “how do we find that time?”

One of the easiest ways to find and spend more time with our children is to make decisions that focus on that as a priority.  Mark and I pray, talk over and write out a daily schedule.  Our goal is for me to spend the majority of my time engaged with our children.   By writing down how we are going to fit everything into our day, we are able to see where we are spending our time and evaluate whether we are investing our time into the things that we say are important.

Even if you don’t like schedules, writing down what you do over the course of a week and how much time that you spend doing it can be a useful tool to see how you spend  your time and how that reflects your priorities.  How important is “fill in the blank” (watching television, participating in sports, etc.) to you?   Now how much time do you spend in a week doing that?  Now compare that to the amount of time you spend communing with your God or directly engaging with your children.  Do your daily decision reflect your priorities?

I think our human tendency is to sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the immediate.  We tend to sacrifice building relationships and making disciples of our children in order to fix dinner, clean up the mess, minister to others or provide our children with some “wonderful” opportunity.  Of course I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do these things, just that everything should remain in balance.

If I am so busy keeping the house clean, doing laundry, getting dinner on the table or running the children to different activities that I have very little time or energy to invest in my children then something is wrong with my priorities.   This priority of building strong, solid relationships and making disciples of our children will affect nearly all of our decisions.   Are we walking the walk, or just talking the talk?  Evaluating how we spend our time can help us determine if our daily decisions are enabling us to meet our goals.

Another aspect of prioritizing our time is out-side-of-the-home activities.  There is so much pressure, especially in the homeschool community, to have our children involved in multiple outside-the-home activities that there are many homeschooled children who  spend more time with various peer groups than they do with their family and mothers who spend more time in the car than at home.  (Don’t forget dad in all this.  Fathers can become so busy with work and other responsibilities that they do not have a daily presence and influence in their child’s life.)

Saying “no” to good things in order to make room for the best things is vital when it comes to building relationships and gaining your child’s heart.  We can not do it all!

A hard part of this is that often the BEST things aren’t flashy.  Staying at home and making disciples of your children by pouring your life into them and encouraging them to choose the role of a servant and to serve others does not win awards, acclaim or scholarships.  However, we must go back to our standard for life.

what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8b)

Christ came as a servant, why should I desire more for myself or for my children?  No it’s not flashy, but it’s godly.

So evaluate how you use your time and the decisions that you make in light of the goals and priorities that you believe God has set for your family.  He has given us enough time to accomplish the things to which He has called us.  It is our responsibility to use that time properly.

4 Mom, 35 Kids talk about scheduling in only two more days.

You may be interested to read about some of the ways we try to implement our goal of teaching and training our children about the most important things in life.  We try to  make Bible reading a priority, we help our children memorize large amounts of scripture and doctrine, we have a daily time of family worship and we  include our children in the corporate worship services at church.

Other posts in “Your Child’s Heart” series:

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18 Responses to Your Child’s Heart: How do you Find the Time? Part 1
  1. Annie
    March 9, 2010 | 11:35 am

    I appreciate your familys’ stance on prioritizing time with eachother. Our family, though small compared to others (we have only 2 children with one on the way in two weeks) had found it difficult to balance the demands of the home and outside the home.
    The kids and I were involved in several church ministries that pretty much took over every evening of the week. Then my husband commented on how he rarely saw me and the kids and I felt convicted. The activities, though good and purposeful, took time away from family fellowship and it took precious time away from me being a wife to my husband and mother to my children. After I got pregnant in June of 08 I greatly decreased our involvement in church because I had all day morning sickness. I believe it was a way for God to shift my priorities back to home. Don’t get me wrong, we loved being apart of our churches functions but now, at least in this season, we are enjoying life as a family in our home together instead of running around here and there. And next time I will be more wiser in how we fill up our families time!
    Thank you for your wise words! I look forward to reading your blog posts often☺

    [Reply]

    Annie Reply:

    Sorry- I need to make a correction- I got pregnant in June of 09 not 08. Whew! That would make me an elephant! Thank God we don’t have to be pregnant that long!!! ☺

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    It seems to me that keeping our priorities straight is a constant battle. How wonderful that God used morning sickness to help your family re-focus.

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  2. Polly
    March 9, 2010 | 12:53 pm

    You had a great quote in there, and so true:

    I think our human tendency is to sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the immediate.

    I have to say, I said “ouch” a few times while reading this. Thanks for the reminder!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I probably heard that somewhere else. I’m not generally that brilliant. 🙂

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  3. Leah Killian
    March 9, 2010 | 1:16 pm

    I have been diligently working on this in our home over the past few months. This is so motivating and encouraging!

    The beautiful thing is that when your time is lining up correctly you can really begin to see and feel the difference,and His hand is evident in that. I have learned that He takes our best efforts as parents, and softens the hearts of our children to follow that which is right and true. I have seen that in my home this month.

    I think a lot of parents ask how and why what you do works. His influence is the answer to both how and why.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    When we submit our wishes to what He has for us we do see Him take over and bless beyond our efforts.

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  4. Grace Munoz
    March 9, 2010 | 2:04 pm

    Kimberly, thank you so much for this post. It could not have come at a better time for me. There is so much truth to what you said and I’m glad I’m not the only one that has gone through this. Sometimes its a comfort to hear and know that. You are such a great support and I hope you know the wonderful work you do.
    Thank you

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for your encouragement. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment to let me know that the post was helpful to you.

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  5. Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home
    March 9, 2010 | 5:57 pm

    Thank you for this reminder. It’s so easy to end up spend all day with my kids and never really be WITH them.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m a master of doing that. It is something I struggle with constantly.

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  6. Michelle
    March 9, 2010 | 8:54 pm

    I believe I find myself struggling with the balance. Being not only the first stay at home mom in my family, but also being the first generation of everything Christian makes everything difficult for me some days…no…each day.

    My children are 2 1/2 and 11 months. I struggle with…should I be playing and learning with them or doing the responsibilities of the home to make them more “independent.” This has been a hard struggle for me since my first was born. Now that she is getting older, I realize the great need for her to be discipled. I struggle with how to start and what to do.

    I’m still enjoying this series of posts.

    [Reply]

  7. chantelle
    March 10, 2010 | 8:57 am

    Thank you for reminding me where our priorities should be. I had to cringe at a few of your words. I struggle daily with what I should be doing, should I stop the dishes and read with my daughter, where should the housework end and family time begin? Our schedule is something I need to look over and make some changes. I would love to hear how you balance your children and being the wife that God wants us to be also.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Chantelle – I do a lot of my tasks with my children. This is one way that I’ve found to help balance.

    I posted our schedule today. The schedule helps make sure the important tasks get done AND the kids are still getting a good part of me.

    I tend to be task oriented, so my struggle is not plugging into my children. To help off-set that I often try to stop what I’m doing and sit down and read them a story. It helps me remember where my focus should be.

    If you’re not as task oriented as I am, that probably would not be as useful.

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    Michelle Reply:

    Hoping this is replying to what you said to Chantelle:

    I can relate with what you said…I find myself with them but disconnected sometimes. Reading ALWAYS helps me to reconnect with them.

    [Reply]

  8. Gina
    March 10, 2010 | 11:38 am

    I too have been realizing these past months that my time is not always spent wisely. I have de-cluttered our home, am in the process of getting the home management book, and have been praying much more about what I need to be doing and when. It is going better. I do realize that we have totally missed it in the area of our 1st born and training him to be diligent in his work and to be responsible for his chores. I need help – if anyone sees this and could reply to ginagrizzle@yahoo.com about some help for me I will appreciate it! He is strong – willed and we just sometimes let things go that we should not so we will not have to deal with it. How do we teach responsibility at this point. He will be in shock!
    Also, Kimberly what do you guys do with toys? Do you limit the amount each chlld has? We have too many even though we regularly get rid of some and we just don’t have room with shared rooms. Any ideas? The grandparents are the problem! HA

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We do limit toys, there is only so much space. We have designated areas for toys and if things don’t fit then we start purging.

    The children always have a say in what stays and goes, but everything must fit or they have to figure out something else to get rid of.

    I think that this may be a great topic for our 4 Moms, 35 Kids group.

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  9. Mama Bear
    March 15, 2010 | 1:05 am

    Thank you for your blog. I appreciate your words.
    In the last year God has been teaching me to disciple my kids.
    This post is speaking to me where I’m at, most definitely.

    Again, Thank You.
    Bless You & Your Family

    [Reply]

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