There are only 24 hours in a day.

It would be wise to spend some of those hours sleeping and eating, but what happens to the rest?

When you spend one of those 24 hours doing something, that hour is gone. If that one thing is something outside your home, that may mean one less hour of reading with your children or playing in the backyard with them.

We need to condition ourselves to weigh the hours of our day and spend them carefully. As parents, we make many decisions throughout the course of day that affect our time and the time of our family members. Will I join a committee at church? Will I sign my children up for multiple activities?

A family without margin will quickly feel the stress of always “doing” and never just “being” together.

Just this fall, I became a soccer mom. Big J participates in a fundamental league two nights a week, just learning the basics of the game. He enjoys it and the time commitment is relatively low, but the time of practices cuts into dinner and affects bedtime. While I do not regret signing him up for this class, I have learned to look carefully at the activity schedule and consider more than just the amount of time required before signing up for other activities.

Not all outside commitments are bad. There is a delicate balance that involves home and church and school and other activities. We have passions and talents that God intends for us to use for His glory. We are part of a community and those connections are important and valuable.

However, the connections within our family should hold higher priority. PRAY hard about the decisions that affect time with your family, and if you’re unsure, say NO more than you say yes!

And don’t ever feel guilty about putting your family first, especially when it involves your precious time!


Family tie #2: Sit down with your spouse and take a careful look at your schedule. Determine if there is anything currently on your schedule that is negatively affecting your family time and just say no! Get rid of it! Make the decision to say no more, even to those commitments that seem “good,” but will put a strain on your family.


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