NOT TO BE ADDICTED TO MUCH WINE
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to beslanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-4
Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
n. An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
v. To keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.
How do we keep the things in our life in a healthy balance? Temperance speaks to restraint, discretion, moderation, or balance in all things – are we balanced in the time we spend with our husband vs. the time we spend with our children? Moderate in the energy we spend on housekeeping vs. the energy we spend with our kids? Balanced in the time we spend on ministry out of the house vs. time spent on discipleship within the house? We need to set priorities and adequately cover our responsibilities without being excessive and unbalanced. Balance is the key, with our eye always fixed on the Word and will of God, determined to know and practice those things that are both true and loving.
Matthew 6:33-34 ESV: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. Phil. 4:5
Most Commonly Asked Questions of Contact Moms
Q: My daughter is five months old. She cries every time I put her in a playpen. I use it for an hour, two times a day and she cries for the whole hour. What should I do?
A: First of all, remember the purpose of playpen time, a time for your daughter to eventually learn to entertain herself and to develop focusing skills. Given her age, consider evaluating the placement of the playpen, are there other children in the home who are constantly coming in to play with your baby? Is your baby having her playpen time alone or is she being distracted? Is she well rested and well fed? Little ones have a love-hate relationship with the playpen and the boundaries it represents, but respecting boundaries is something each of us must learn. Secondly, two – one hour increments of playpen time for a five month old is a bit long; So to achieve the objective of playpen training, setting a timer for 15 to 20 minutes, may be the best way to start and will help set her up for ‘victory’. She may still choose to cry, but keeping it to a shorter period of time will make it easier for both of you to eventually extend the time. Also by using a timer, that becomes a neutral object determining the length of time, so when the timer goes off take her out, calming stating “Playtime is over”, move on to the next event and then try another 20 minutes later in the day. If she starts playing for five to ten minutes and she seems content, increase the time to 30 minutes. Once she has developed the ability to play alone, you could then have one playpen period in the same room with you or in view of you so she can learn to be content playing “near” you, but not necessarily “with” you. See: PFP pg. 152 & OBW pgs 117 & 172; Babyhood Transitions pgs 49, 96-98 OBW2 pgs 63/64, 97; 121-124
THOUGHTS FROM THE BOARD
We all have days that we are very proud of; completing our ‘to do’ list, touching the hearts of each of our children in a significant way, getting a wonderful meal on the table and having great dinner time conversation. Perhaps your great day will look different but the reality is we know what we want it to look like and we all know that feeling of accomplishment when it happens. When these days occur, be grateful, accept it as a gift from God, undeserved and unmerited.And remember there is only ONE who was perfectly balanced 100% of the time…and that ONE is not you or me, He walked the earth 2000 years ago. I know how easy it is to think that because my ‘perfect day’, was the day that I prayed and spent time in the Word so everything worked out wonderfully. Therefore, I can guarantee myself a repeat performance if I just pray a little more and read a little longer tomorrow. That, for all the good we hope to accomplish can come perilously close to idolatry. When all is said and done it looks like my great day rested on my shoulders to pull it off, and it leaves God out of my day and the equation altogether. What happens when we pray and spend time in the word and life doesn’t run so smoothly?
For example, I remember the evening I found the flyer listing all the things my son would be doing while in Thailand; the lives he and his team would touch that have never heard the Gospel, the children abandoned, the orphanages overflowing and the disease that abounded. I prayed for him, for his team, for those they would be reaching with the great news of the Gospel as well as for the spiritual battles they would be entangled in. Several hours later we learned that our son had died. If I believed that there were 3 or 4 steps to having a perfect day, the news about my son would have left me very disillusioned with God and my faith. I would not look any different than the baseball pitcher who must do his ‘superstitious dance’ before each pitch, because the last time he did his 1,2, 3 routines, he pitched a perfect game. It’s within us to be pulled toward a sense of balance because the longing of our hearts is for God the originator of balance. We strive, we set goals, “we earnestly push on toward the mark” but it is important to accept our limitations and remember that He is more interested in us ‘doing life’ with His wisdom, grace and dignity.
Addicted: compulsively or physiologically dependent on something habit-forming
Temperance: habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; patience; calmness; sedateness.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecc. 3:1
Are we spending our time and energies on things that have eternal value?
Redeem the Time – Helping Moms Prioritize
How someone invests her time shows what her priorities are. Anita Couch helps women determine what should be in their schedules, based on what their priorities are. To purchase click here
How do you achieve balance?
Based on the definition of balance, an even distribution of weight, one may want to start with the heaviest weight and gradually begin moving it closer to the objective – so what is it in your life that is most out of balance? Start making adjustments there. Then move to the next thing or the secondary weight – just like a scale, there may need to be a little shuffling from one side to another until a ‘balance’ is achieved. It will take time to reorder priorities that work best in your home for your family. The following acronym may help remember the process, as it’s one that will be repeated throughout life.
As with all things; commit your ways to the Lord and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5 & 6; Proverbs 16:3
What about the hard things?
It is human nature to put off the things that overwhelm us, but if we can find a way to make those things bite-sized; then ‘begin as you mean to go’ things turn out not to be as difficult as we first imagined. In addition, there is a sense of enjoyment and feeling of accomplishment when it is complete.
For example, start by making a little time each day for the things you struggle to fit in. If it is time with God: we would suggest, each morning before the children arise, set the timer for 10 minutes – you can do that – don’t put off your time with God until you think there is enough time to tackle an in depth study. If it is keeping up with the house – set a reasonable goal: 30 min/day or 1 room/day or one activity (vacuuming, dusting, bathroom). Keeping things orderly and picked up goes a long way toward having a tidy home.
How do we keep a godly balance in our lives when there are so many “good” things that are vying for our time?
Establishing or keeping a proper balance requires a continual evaluation making necessary adjustments where needed: if you have been focusing on schooling your children and the house begins to really bother you, consider taking a teacher institute/work day, catch up on what needs to be done to put the house back in order and return to school the next day more at peace. If the children are old enough to help, be sure to make them your ‘helpers’ in the clean up process.
Another tool to help keep a balance is by asking the question: “Is this the right time?” There are seasons in our life for different things. Is this the right season for the activity you are considering? Eccl 3:1
Ask for your husband’s guidance and then listen to it. Show him your schedule does he feel that it is doable or too full? What things or events does he think you should drop?
In considering what are the best places to invest your time and energy, ask yourself what is important to your husband: how clean/picked up does he want the house? Are you prone to being overly meticulous? Does it matter how soon after he walks in the door is dinner ready? Maybe yes, maybe no. Sometimes we add stress to our lives by putting expectations on ourselves that do not need to be there.
After evaluating with your husband what is most important, honestly evaluate how are you doing in those areas? Making the necessary changes (which often are just slight adjustments) you will find yourself moving a step closer to a balanced life.