Which comes first . . . time with family, or time with God?

Back in my single days, I typically had all the time in the world to pray, and study the bible.  I participated in churchy things a few nights a week, and was generally an “involved” person, when it came to ministry and service.  Marriage and children changes a lot of things though, not the least of which is the amount of “free time” you have.
I’m not suggesting that God’s time should only fit in when you have some “free time” to spare.  I’m simply saying that my day is already full . . . and it’s difficult to spend 15 – 30 minutes in devotion with God, much less go out and follow my own advice of serving others, visiting the sick, and checking on people who’ve been missing church.
In general, my excuse is that my day is so hectic because I have small children, and by the time they’re in school, things will be back to a much more normal routine (and I will have a full night’s sleep as well), so I’ll have the time and energy to serve God more.  But while that comforts my guilt, it does little to dismiss the nagging truth in my mind:  I am too selfish of my time to serve God.  I have a 4 year old and an 8 month old.  The evenings are crazy.  I get home, play with kids until dinner time, then the baths and bed-time rituals start.  By the time both children are asleep, I’m exhausted, and so is my wife.  Looking at a typical evening, I just don’t see how to insert the availability to witness to someone, or minister to someone in need.  And I apparently don’t care enough to find a way to make it happen.  This concerns me.  How hard has my heart become if I don’t show care and love for others?  I’m choosing time with my family . . . time with my wife.  But how do you balance those?  I obviously cannot neglect my service to God, and outreach to people, but it’s wrong to neglect my family as well.
 . . . if only I were independently wealthy.  Any rich people out there want to donate to my cause? 🙂

Leave a Reply