Faithfulness to our family requires time. Shopping, laundry, bed-time routines, family devotions, diapers, dishes, discipline, meals, yardwork, sports, homework, driving, etc., eats up the schedule. And God knew that when he asked us to keep himself central in our lives. Again, I think back to Israel (and the church) in their days before washing machines, freezers, and cars. How did they do it? God.
We could not possibly address all of the unique sports/sleep/schedule situations here. But a few suggestions. First, God will not prevent us from obedience to him. Whether we have a family of two or twenty, his grace is sufficient. When it comes to gathering, it’s about allowing God to care for us in the way in which he has determined. This side of heaven, that involves consistent and candid commitment to a NT local church.
Second, we may need to sit down as a family and make some adjustments so as to put God at the center. These are rich times, spiritually. We can pray as a family, recognizing that it does require some not-always-easy adjustments. And we could pray as a family for God to strengthen us in the adjustments, asking for help to get to bed, sleep well, and endure any potential inconveniences therefrom, knowing that Christ is so good that he is willing to help us in the adjustments we make for his glory.
Third, we can discuss with our family how it takes a measure of sacrifice to follow Christ (Matt 16:24). Perhaps not going to bed at the ideal time is one of those sacrifices. As we discuss Christ’s sacrifice for us, we can gain strength and perspective to, then, continue in sacrifice for him by adjusting our schedules at times. On the front end, such adjustments and sacrifices (e.g. later nights, earlier mornings, less sports events) may seem impossible. But with God, all things are possible. And not everything that the culture says is a need is a need. Again, these are wonderful times to show our kids that life is not about making and morphing a god into our image/schedule/sports, but morphing ourselves into his will. That is what it means to seek first his kingdom (Matt. 6:33) and, “…as for me and my house” to “serve the Lord” (Jos. 24:15). It’s doubtful that our God will decide to withhold blessing from our family for living with him as central and supreme.
Also, these can provide great opportunities to involve other members of the body to help us out. And, as God’s people, we mustn’t be too proud to request help.
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