My class last night seemed to enjoy an illustration I gave so I decided to share it here. The class is the first of 5 I will teach called “Getting a better spouse,” which is a poor name, but the goal is to make our families stronger by improving the husband and wife relationship. The common denominator of all the people in the class is that we all have kids and as any parent knows, sometimes life seems incredibly busy. Also at times it can feel like our kids are the center of our families and all life revolves around them.
As parents its critical to admit that one of our most important job is to raise our children properly (cf Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:6-7). But that doesn’t mean the children become the center of the family. They need to learn that the world does not revolve around them. Therefore the class’s goal will hopefully help draw the mom and dad together. Doing this helps the whole family.
But… the husband/wife relationship is not the most important relationship in the family. The most important is the parent/God relationship. God invented the family and He knows how to make it work best. Not only that, but He knows our temperament, gifts and needs better than even we do ourselves. He also knows what’s coming down the road. When we draw close to God we benefit in too many ways to describe, but the most relevant to this topic is that it helps us as parents make wise decisions for our families. So here’s the illustration:
I have a two story house with a finished basement. If I’m on the top floor and my son is in the basement and I want to give him instructions, what do I do? Do I try and yell detailed instructions across the house? Picture it, “Son, I need you to make your bed and clean your room, also, take your dirty clothes to the laundry and brush your teeth.” The son can’t hear me well so he yells back, “What?” So you try again and he yells back, “What?” Wouldn’t it work much better if you just said, “Son, come closer, I need to tell you something.”
When we get too busy to spend time with God _daily_ we start to distance ourselves from Him. And admit it, its easy to go far longer than a couple days. If you’ve gone weeks or months without opening your bible or praying seriously it’s like you’re on different ends of the house. You have no clue what God’s trying to tell you, you need to get closer.
So the point of the class was to encourage people to work on the relationship with God. If you’ve gotten away from doing it you’re probably discouraged and if you’re a normal parent the thought of setting a substantial amount of time aside from your already hectic day sounds impossible. Therefore I taught the class my technique for getting back on track, “7 minutes with God.” I’ve found that finding half an hour is hard but I can find 7 minutes.
This topic warrants another blog post but in a nutshell it works like this, and its utterly simple – about two minutes goes to prayer, but not your normal prayer. Do nothing but praise God. You have no problem making time during the day for prayers like, “God help me with xxxxx!” so this prayer time is for remembering who God is and how great He is. “God, thank you for the rain, I can’t wait to see the flowers bloom and the green grass…” Then the remaining minutes go for a mini bible study.
If the need to lug a bible around will make it difficult for you to do your 7 minutes then you can print out a chapter of the bible from [www.biblegateway.com](http://www.biblegateway.com) and stash it in your pocket so that you have it. Note that five minutes of reading time is probably not enough to get through a whole chapter – don’t rush it, it’s ok if you just get a third of chapter in. As Henry Blackaby so rightly said, “God can speak to you on any page of this book.” And the goal of the 7 min is to encourage you to get closer to God, not speed through the pages. I’ve found that once I get back on track the thirst for the word grows and I’m better able to find time for more in-depth study.
I’d love to hear your comments.