Schedules Are For Serving

I’ve been making my way through Steve and Teri Maxwell’s “Manager’s of Their Homes” and have been challenged to think more biblically about the subject of routine and schedules. I’ve tended, until more recently, to think that schedules were associated with personality and those “Type A” people. But if you look close enough, the Bible is pretty clear about how our lives are to be ordered. Even in studying God’s very nature, we see that He is a God of order rather than chaos. He is a God who makes the sun rise and fall routinely every day. He gives us seasons in consistent pattern and He even had an order to how He created things from the beginning.

The Maxwell’s write,

” Not managing our homes is one reason the enemy would have opportunity to slander us and our ministry. It is a poor testimony to always be sinking under the burden of our home workload. Have you known mothers who looked tired and worn when you saw them? Their faces did not indicate they were joyful mothers of children or tell of Jesus. Scheduling is a key to gaining victory over our circumstances and time usage.  It is within the ability and grasp of every woman who would decide to follow this path. As mother’s, we want to learn to be home managers versus victims of circumstances.”

It seems so many mother’s live their lives as “victims of their own circumstances.”  I know I’ve found myself in this place before. Whether it’s having children close together, having them in “less than ideal” seasons of your life – or even playing the victim by trying to be overly in control of when and how many etc., it’s is ever-so-easy to fall prey to living as a victim rather than confidently claiming God’s call on us each individually in our own unique circumstances and living out a joyful example to a watching world.

As our girls get older (and with another baby on the way), I see the need more and more for routine. Of course a balance is necessary (as with all things in life) but there is beautiful purpose in implementing schedule into our home lives when done with love and grace.

“The Lord has given us each the same number of hours in our day and responsibilities which we must fulfill during this time.  We can always be driven by the urgent, or we can take control of our days. We can set aside time for not only the responsibilities but also those God-given “heart desires.” Scheduling allows for all of these to happen. Our time is our most valuable asset, but we must take charge of how it is used.”

I realize that this Biblical view is highly controversial to the culture we live in. It seems “the thing to do” now a days (and even decades ago!) was to follow your child’s lead, also known as “child directed parenting.” We know many Christian families that are struggling from the consequences of this theology of parenting. They live frazzled lives, tired, worn and excusing the sin of their children for “stages” and personalities and the like. While these things should be taken into consideration, sin is still sin and we try to steer clear of the “terrible two” mindset that allows for our little ones to thrown temper tantrums on the floor without being corrected. Believe it or not, scheduling can be a beautiful way to allow children to feel secure in their homes and to help reduce bad behavior that is often associated with boredom and lack of lead and direction on the parent’s part. I’ve seen this in our own family life – where I haven’t been wise and led my children well into routine, and I take responsibility for their sin, as a result.

Successful scheduling can be implemented from the very beginning – with babies in their first weeks of life. Schedules aren’t just for home school families either. They can be beautifully written into families with small children all the way up to families with teenagers.  I’m still learning what works best for us and it can feel a little overwhelming to consider the responsibilities God has given me with 3 little girls.  I know for sure, if I don’t begin to get even more intentional than I have been in the past – precious opportunities will pass me by, because some of them already have. I want to be faithful with the time I’ve been given to manage my home and trust the Lord to do the rest.

I encourage you, my friends, to humbly consider this as well. This can be a touchy subject. But it’s not about you or me and “methods.” It’s about redeeming our time and reflecting a God of order and peace in the process…