When Olivia’s two sons were young, she loved giving them the chance to do all sorts of activities—even if it was a bit exhausting. You want to do Little League Football and Soccer with your friends? Great! But you also need piano lessons. Oh, your classmates are doing Cub Scouts? That makes sense too. And we can’t forget church activities . . .
Olivia’s husband had become involved in a men’s Bible study, and he started encouraging her to join one for women. Her response? “When in the world would I be able to do that?”
While it sounded good in theory, she didn’t have that sort of time. After all, in addition to the meeting, there would be weekly reading and homework.
Doing that at some point will be wonderful, she thought wistfully. But it’ll have to wait until the boys are older.
One day Olivia was telling an older, wiser friend about this conversation with her husband and was getting a bit agitated. Of course she would love to do a Bible study! But clearly her husband didn’t understand all the demands on her time—especially with so many things she had to do for their boys!
Her friend gently held up a hand. “Do you?”
Bemused, Olivia stared at her friend. What? Of course she did!
Wait. Did she?
Olivia saw just how much she had given in to a sneaky but dangerous pattern. She was so determined that her boys not miss out on anything that she was missing out on something much more important. She was putting her boys’ social calendar ahead of her relationship with the Lord. And that meant this situation with her children had become an idol.
Oh, that’s bad, she thought, wincing ruefully. There’s a commandment about that!
Olivia sat down with her husband that night. They jointly decided that each child would be limited to choosing one activity per season. She looked into finding a Bible study group that met during the boys’ school hours. She connected with a small group of believers in every season of life—some with older kids, some with young kids, and some with no children at all. But they were all women who wanted to know more about Jesus and were making it a priority to meet and support each other.
Olivia discovered that as she put her relationship with the Lord first, time seemed to expand. Each week she was able to do her weekly Bible study reading and homework and still get her boys to their chosen activities, to piano lessons (her choice for them!), and to the church events she and her husband prioritized as a family. Her faith and her relationship with Christ began to grow in ways she could not have imagined.
She also found an incredible community of women to do life with. They were transparent with each other, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. They mentored each other, prayed for each other, and spoke into each other’s lives. Olivia saw that running around and putting her children’s activities first had not really accomplished much of importance. But her time in this Bible study was life changing—for her, and, as a result, her whole family.
Sisters, we are created for community. When we try to do life on our own—when we prioritize our children over our relationship with the Lord, our marriage, or our friends—we often become misguided in our priorities and focus. Let us not miss out on what the Lord wants to teach us. Let’s be sure we don’t forfeit the peace and blessing He so desperately wants us to receive.
Heavenly Father, thank You for drawing me to You. Please gently show me where I have created idols and have put other things before growing in my relationship with You. Forgive me, Lord. Even though my intentions were good, I was wrong. Please give me friends who will speak Your truth into my soul. Help me to also share Your truths and encouragement with them. Lord, when my schedule feels cluttered, remind me that You created me to worship You. Amen.