Prioritizing My Life According to God's Plan (for Wives & Mothers)
by Kristie Cook – Soul Care Counselor
I am so busy! I'm a mom, counselor, a small group leader, a sister, a pastor's wife, a gagie (that means 'grandma' according to my sweet granddaughter Emsley), a secretary, a helper, an aunt, a worshipper, a decorator, a granddaughter, a hostess, a friend, and a master copy machine technician (this might be my most valuable job - I mean, who could live without the church copy machine?). I'm also a planner, a housecleaner, a daughter, a seamstress, a cook, a purchaser, a writer, and most recently, I'm a runner (we'll see how long this one actually lasts - but I did get cute running shoes!).
There is just so much to do! I can't be the only one in this boat, right? Between family and ministry and everything else in-between, I can barely find time to put on mascara. Seriously - thank goodness for those grocery shoppers you can hire to shop for you!
God's Plan for Prioritizing Life
Some days I become so overwhelmed with the weight and responsibility of prioritizing my time that I need to just go back to the basics. God has a very clear plan for prioritizing and simplifying my life. When I focus on His truth and follow His plan, it's a relief to embrace His grace and strength that He provides for today.
God is at the Center
Matthew 22:37-38 says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment." If the most important commandment is to love God with all of my heart, my job is to make Him #1 in my life, I choose to make Him LORD OVER my life. That means when I make decisions, I am using His word to determine my steps. I am making choices to obey His word and walk in His truth.
What practical changes can you make now to make God #1 in your life? Are you crying out to Him through your tough circumstance? Are you spending time with Him in solitude? Are you seeking to study His word? Are you allowing His truth to change your life? Are you actively involved in biblical community where others can speak truth into your life? Are you seeking to please God in all areas of your life?
Your Spouse is Your Closest Neighbor
The next verse (Matthew 22:39) says, "The second [commandment] is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Do you know who your closest neighbor is? Your husband! When God created man, he very quickly decided that Adam needed a helper suitable for him. (I like to say that the poor guy didn't last a day before God knew he needed help!) When you read through the beginning of Genesis, it is evident that, (1) God is the author, inventor, and institutor of marriage, (2) God's purpose for marriage is oneness, and (3) oneness in marriage indicates a deep, unbreakable bond.
In my life, if my husband is my priority (second only to God), I need to make deliberate choices that reflect that. (Warning: Some of you gals aren't going to like this next part!) When I choose to go have coffee with a hurting friend, but at the exact same time my husband needs me to help him complete a project, I am making a conscious choice to prioritize in the wrong way. When I have so many responsibilities on my plate, my husband's need must take precedence over all other things. God's will for my life is that I place my husband in the #2 spot.
What practical changes can you make now to make your spouse #2 in your life? Oneness means sharing, commitment, humility, companionship, and acceptance. Does that describe your marriage? How are you making deliberate choices to follow your husband's leadership? Are you known as your husband's greatest fan? Are you making choices to help him in areas that he struggles? Are you quick to place your children above his needs?
We need to have #1 in place in order to properly put #2 in the right spot - if you haven't made God #1 in your life, then it will be difficult to be successful in your marriage!
Children are a Gift for you to Steward
Psalm 127:3-5 says, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" God tells us that our children are given to us as gifts - He blessed us by giving us a tiny little sinner! And He calls us to steward them, teach them, shepherd them, and bring them up according to His word. It is our responsibility!
In my life, if my children are my priority (third only to God and my husband), I need to make deliberate choices that reflect that. If I choose to get a pedicure on the day that I am in desperate need of some "me" time and my teenager has a soccer game at the same time, I am making a conscious choice to prioritize in the wrong way.
What practical changes can you make now to make your children #3 in your life? What does your prayer life look like in regards to your children? God tells us that He loves them more than we do - they belong to Him. How does your life as a parent reflect that? Shepherding your child's heart is one of your most important jobs! How are you doing this practically on a daily basis?
We need to have #1 and #2 in place in order to properly put #3 in the right spot - if you haven't made God #1 in your life and your husband #2, then it will be difficult to be successful in your parenting!
Everything Else Comes Next
God gives us truth in His word about serving in His church, loving people, working hard, listening well, discipling His people, and relying on His strength to accomplish all of it. I often sit down and draw out my own circle of stewardship. Sometimes my husband helps me based on his perspective. If you're drawing out your circle of stewardship, which thing on your list needs to come next?
What practical changes can you make now to prioritize your life according to God's Word? As a woman, I am not called to carry the financial weight on my family. That doesn't mean I can't work - it just means that my job doesn't rank as high on my priority list as it does on my husband's list. Where has your job been misplaced on your circle? How have you involved your husband in deciding how to prioritize your time?
We need to have #1, #2, and #3 in place in order to minister, serve, work outside the home, etc. If I haven't made God #1 in my life, my husband #2 in my life, and my children #3 in my life, then I am not going to be as successful as a..... (blank).
What do you need to write in this blank? Today, I think I will write Master Copy Machine Technician.