I am a mommy to a sweet 12 week old baby boy. In the past 12 weeks, I’ve experienced your typical mommy struggles: spit up, dirty diapers, no sleep, fussiness, etc. I was prepared for these struggles. People warned me about these things. However, one mommy struggle I wasn’t really prepared for was how hard it was going to be to find time to do my quiet time with Jesus each day. Some days, I go to lay my head on the pillow, and I realize that I’ve spent my day away without spending time with Jesus. This struggle kind of took me by surprise; however, the more I think about it, the more I realize this should not have surprised me. Even before Hunter was born and I didn’t have a little person vying for all of my time, there were some days where I still struggled to do my quiet time. Although (for some reason) this isn’t really discussed a lot, I think a lot of Christians struggle having their quiet time on a daily basis.
Why do so many of us struggle with this? Let’s just look at the name of it: quiet time. To have time with Jesus each day, it requires quiet and it requires time. Both of these things are contradicting to what so many of our lives are like these days. We don’t hardly ever have quiet. Our culture doesn’t even like quiet. Our houses are filled with noise- TVs, music, dishwasher running, washer/dryer running, etc. If it isn’t literal noise we are always hearing, then it’s the noise of social media. We struggle to turn off the TV, put a chore off for later, or turn off our phones so we can just be in the Lord’s presence. Then, what about time? That’s something we don’t have a lot of either. How many times have you thought, “There’s just not enough hours in the day!” I’ve thought it a lot. There’s chores to get done around the house, friends to catch up with, fun things we want to do, sports activities, etc. Our 24 hours each day come and go in a blink. These things that consume our time aren’t bad things, but if they’re taking the place of time with Jesus, then they’ve become an idol. So, what are we to do? Here are my thoughts:
1. Realize (& confess) our idolatry. Any time we put ANYTHING before Jesus, whether it be good or bad, it is an idol, and this is a sin (Exodus 20:3). There’s so many times at the end of the day that I just want to be lazy and watch TV or when I need to not be lazy and clean or do a household chore. However, is that TV show or chore more important than Jesus? No. Jesus and time with Him should be my priority over anything else.
2. Realize that even Jesus did a quiet time. Several times throughout Scripture, we see Jesus go to a place of solitude to pray and spend time with His Father (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, etc.). If Jesus, who was God in the flesh, needed to spend quiet time with His Father, then of course we do as well! Also, Jesus is our ultimate example. As Christians, we should strive to be like Jesus and do the things that He did. One of the things He did was spend quiet time with His Father. If Jesus did it and thought it was necessary, then so should we.
3. Realize it’s one way we can show Jesus we love Him. Simply put, you spend time with people you love. If I told my husband that I love him, but then never wanted to spend time with him, he would probably wonder if I really love him or not. Our relationship with Jesus is similar. We must not only tell Jesus that we love Him with our words, but with our actions as well. We must spend time with Jesus just like we would spend time with any other person we love.
4. Realize it’s how we learn more about Jesus. Think about how you got to know people in your lives- your friends, spouse, family members, etc. You spent time with them. If I only gave my husband 1 hour out of my week (like so often we give Jesus), then I would never truly know anything about him. Jesus is the same way (but even more so!). We must spend daily time with Jesus in order to get to know Him, His love for us, and what He wants from our lives. Now, the love and knowledge of Jesus is so great, deep, wide, and long that we will never be able to fully comprehend it on this side of eternity, but a quiet time is how we can get a small glimpse of it!
5. Realize we must make time. You make time for things and people you love. Having a quiet time is the same way. You must make time for it. You must turn off the TV, go to bed later, get up earlier, etc. My suggestion is to find a consistent time daily that you can carve our for your quiet time. I’ve found that for me personally, consistency is key. I have also learned that this consistent time changes as seasons of life change. For example, in college, right before bed was my consistent time. After college, when I got married and began working, right after I got off work in the afternoons was my consistent time. Now that Hunter has arrived, I’m learning that the evenings when my husband is home to hang out with Hunter is the best time. Pick a time and stick to it. Tell that time to someone so they can help keep you accountable.
6. Realize we love others better when we love Jesus first. Our relationship with Jesus makes our relationship with others better. The more we spend time with Jesus, the more we become like Him. That means we can love and serve others like He would. I know that I can love and serve my husband, Hunter, our church, etc. the best when I put my relationship with Jesus and my quiet time first.
7. Realize no one is perfect and there’s always grace. I’ll be the first one to admit I am not perfect, especially in this area. It’s something that the Lord is continually convicting me of. The beautiful thing about Jesus is His grace and that when we go astray, He never does. Jesus is always right there, waiting for us to return to Him. Maybe you’ve had a quiet time drought. That’s okay. Confess that to Jesus and go back to Him. He is there waiting on you with His open, loving arms!
Having a quiet time with Jesus is so crucial. Do it for a few days, and I really believe that you will begin to look forward to that daily time with the Lord. If you don’t know where to start, my suggestion is to pick a book of the Bible and start in chapter 1. The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are a great starting point, but if your pastor is preaching on something specific, or if there’s a specific book that interests you, start there. Ask God to guide you and speak to you as you read, and He will. Journal what the Lord taught you, encouraged you with, etc., then spend time in prayer. There’s no specific formula for a perfect quiet time and no specific time limit. Jesus just wants you to be one-on-one with Him.
What is Jesus teaching you in your quiet time? How has a quiet time enhanced your relationship with the Lord and with others? I would love to hear how Jesus is working in your life!