We are an insanely busy culture. The pace of life that most people are living is not only unsustainable, but it is actually quite harmful to your family life, your marriage, and your well-being. Over my 30 plus years of pastoring, I found this to be one of the most detrimental and destructive things to Christian families’ health and well-being.
There are several significant obstacles that must be overcome in order to live a healthy, balanced life. First, we must understand that busyness can be highly addictive. It can give us a false sense of meaning, purpose, and self-worth. In addition, many people keep busy in a deliberate attempt to avoid facing deeper issues in their lives and marriages. Christians in particular, often believe that their spirituality is measured by their busyness for God. Many of course strive from very pure motives to be busy with their Father’s business, but often become so immersed in mission and church matters that they end up neglecting the eternal, weighty issues of family life. Others believe activity is a sign of our commitment to God when often we are overcommitted and missing the most vital and important things God calls us to.
I spent many years working with a group of Christians who were extremely devoted to Christ, and to his mission. They were dear hearted people. Yet there was a glaring issue. We said we believed in the teaching of the New Testament’s list of qualifications for a Pastor/Elder, which included a well-managed family with children who believed and were not given to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Children who respected and obeyed their father. Yet as I look back many pastors had extremely significant difficulties with their kids. Some went to jail, some did drugs, some were getting drunk, some got really messed up with the opposite sex, some very rebellious, others very disobedient, some very callous towards God and these things were occuring while they were living at home with their father and mother. I have given a great deal of time to ponder all of this as I was privy to many of these situations over the years. I have come to believe one of the greatest reasons this happened was this. Many of these pastors were too busy with the work and mission of God and did not give the time and attention to their families that was needed. They were striving to attempt great things for God, rather than being a great father and husband required by God. I’ve observed this same thing in many, many Christian families. It takes time, much time, and space in your life to be a father, to spend relational time with your children, to pay attention to their lives, to guide them, and shape them. It takes time to keep your marriage strong, time to communicate and talk through things. It takes time to pray over your family, time to nurture your own spiritual life and relationship with God.
I believe that most Christians are too busy, too overcommitted, doing too many things, and as a result it is robbing them of the time they need to develop their marriage, develop and nurture their children’s lives and their relationship with them, and nurture and develop a deep spiritual life with God through prayer and meditation on His word.
I want to urge you and implore you to step back, take a close and courageous look at your life, your family relationships, your schedule, your commitments, and prayerfully ask God in prayer, “Am I too busy for the most important things in my life? Is my family too busy?” Then be strong and courageous to make the changes that God reveals to you. The older your children become the more time they need from you.
Always our number one priority must be to walk closely with God and be a good, effective husband and father. Make certain you have the time in your life to do these very well.
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling