As you begin this week, what plans have you made for you and your family? What activities do you have on your calendar, what commitments have you already blocked out, what events are going on, what action items are on your to-do lists, what tasks have you scheduled?
As we enter another busy week (seems like they’re all like that, don’t they?), how can we ensure that our kids are getting the spiritual encouragement they need? I’m not suggesting, necessarily, that you schedule a prayer time, for example, with your kids or your spouse, though in many situations that may help… but I would suggest one thing – check your “margins”.
When you’re typing a letter, a margin is that part of the “blank paper” that surrounds your text. It provides a cushion, some lee-way, a buffer that keeps you from running off the edge of your page. It’s an edge, side, border, perimeter, brink, rim, fringe, boundary, or limit.
What do the borders of our time look like? Do we have any? What happens to that boundary of time when one more thing drops onto our plate?
How many times do we get so busy that it feels like we’re “running off the edge of our page”? Setting up realistic limits for our activities – both for ourselves and our families – means taking into account two very important elements – the unknown, and the everyday.
The unknown is simply those things that we didn’t plan on. An unexpected flat tire that throws a crinkle into our day… a last-minute invitation for dinner with friends, or to take part in a fun activity.
The everyday is harder… these are the things we usually take for granted – eating a meal together, talking about how our day went, sharing what God has spoken to us through His word, praying together. It’s easy for these everyday items to fall by the wayside when we push our schedule to the brink of the paper’s edge… when we leave ourselves no, or very little, “wiggle room”.
So, this week, why not provide your family with a “hedge of protection”, and build some extra margin into your life – into your schedule. What’s one thing you can cut out this week, to give you more time as a family? How could you better utilize your margins to invest in the spiritual training of your kids? To ensure that you have some time of prayer together, encouraging your kids about God’s desire for them, taking about something that stood out while reading a Bible passage, or just reading a few passages of God’s word together?
What would it look like to create an environment where the “norm” – amidst all the business of life – was spending small amounts of time throughout the day talking about how much God loves us, about the special plans He has for us, about the great work He’s doing in us… Let’s use those margins well this week – who knows what great thing God will do through them?
May God’s grace be with you as you continue to build a heritage of faith for your family!