Have you ever heard the saying that wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also?
Today, I want to talk to you about a different kind of treasure. I want us to look at the treasure that is sought by the choices that we make. Did you know that your choices reveal what you love the most? It’s true. And in marriage, the same thing can be said.
In Colossians 3:23-24, it says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” As Christians, all our work is done on the behalf of Christ, right? But, if you look back at verse 17, you will see a parallel verse (meaning it says essentially the same thing.) It says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
So what does this have to do with balance? First, we need to work to please God, not others. Second, and it may not seem obvious at first, but if you read from verse 17 back down to that parallel verse, verse 23, you will see something that stood out to me: I noticed that all of the verses in between 17 and 23 talk about the importance of relationships. Those verses are all about healthy family relationships: wives and husbands are supposed to be in loving relationships with each other; we read that fathers are not to exasperate their children. God’s Word is telling us that good works situations and healthy family situations go hand in hand.
This takes prioritizing and balancing. Sometimes, good things rob us of the best things.
Some of you are struggling in your marriages because you haven’t had time to spend with your husband. Life has been too busy, too chaotic and too stressful. As a result, you’ve been struggling to find time (or even just desire) for intimacy or just finding time to relax together. Maybe you’re exhausted at the end of the day. Believe me, when I tell you that I get that.
Most of the time, finding balance means letting go what those things that are causing the most stress. Of course, we can’t always do that! Sometimes, my kids are causing me the most stress! Here’s the thing. If my kids are causing me stress, I can almost always trace it back to something in my life that’s out of whack. Either I’ve been neglecting them by not disciplining them when it’s appropriate (and their behavior is showing that lack of discipline) or I’ve simply spent time that I could spend with them on lesser important (but also good) things. When this happens, they’ll do almost anything to get my attention. Even misbehave.
Balance is not an easy thing to figure out. If you’re looking for a place to start, start with relationships. God says over and over again that relationships are important. In fact, we know that God loved the world so much that He sent His son to die for us while we are still sinners, Christ died for us. So we need to recognize the importance of relationships.
As I’ve said before, I believe that for married women who are also mothers, the answer to finding balance at home lies in recognizing the importance of nurturing our marriages first. Start with your marriage. Healthy marriages are a key component to healthy children.
At the end of the day, it’s usually the “good things” that hang us up. I’ve learned that I need to be intentional in saying “no” to some things even though they’re good. For example, we might need to say no to that extra curricular activity. Maybe it’s not wise to do a Bible study this season, even though it would be great and we know it would be a good thing for us. Sometimes we let go of a good thing, so we can gain a better thing.
If you’re struggling to find balance in your life, I want to encourage you today to say “no” to those things that are hindering relationships in your home. Maybe, if you say no to something, you can say yes to something more important, like “yes” to dinner out with your husband, “yes” to going to bed early, “yes” having a date with your husband. You know, the best thing you can do for your children is to have a strong and healthy marriage. To focus on anything else would be doing your children a disservice.
You can find balance between work and family. Not every family is going to have an ideal situation, but as the mom, you are the one who largely determines what that balance is for your family.
Take some time to sit down with your husband and collaborate together. If you’re a single mom, find a quiet moment and reevaluate what really matters. Pare down what needs to be pared down. Breathe. Then, whatever you do, work heartily for God and not for men.
That’s where peace and balance can be found. Somewhere between diapers and diplomas—it’s there. We just have to keep at it.