Raising a child is such a gift from God but sometimes the distractions of this world lead us to lose focus. We find ourselves off the tracks God has laid for us to follow and may even feel that our focus on God and His plans for us can never be the same now that you have another life to care for every second of the day. Here are 7 Ways to Remain Kingdom Focused While Raising a Child.
My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years and in those 2 year we had our first child. It has been 13 months and a few days since God has blessed my husband and I with a sweet, fun-loving little boy. He has brought us so much joy in just a small period of time and we are thankful every single day for him. I stay at home which I love and I am able to watch him learn, grow, and change so quickly, its amazing!
As my walk with Christ goes, a lot has changed. What I mean by that is becoming a mother is a selfless role you take on as soon as this perfect child enters your life. Before, I was so focused on ministry, writing for our Christian blog, being alone with God, and anything we were being called to do we would say yes to. I had a warped sense that everything would be the same, that we would do all the same things we were doing but we would do it with a baby…yeah I was wrong, but in a good way!
God has different seasons for us to experience and the moment our son was born a new season had arrived. I had a lot of transitioning to do, a lot of reflecting, and accepting. I had to learn to transition into a fully selfless person. And if you think you were a selfless person before a child, you quickly find out you probably weren’t!
It took a little time but when I realized God was and is molding me through this whole process of motherhood, I let go. I let Him lead fully. I reflected on the importance of His presence even when times felt difficult. I focused on Him during the sleepless nights and or when our son just couldn’t get settled. And I had to accept the changes that happened so quickly. We got engaged, married, and then pregnant in 5 months! So I needed to accept this fast paced season, so I could learn and grow from it and not be hesitant or afraid.
Over the last year God has shown me and brought me to different ways I am able to focus on my faith while still being the mother my son needs. Here are 7 Ways to Remain Kingdom Focused While Raising a Child.
1. Don’t Lose Focus
I think this is too simple of an answer but its true! If our eyes are fixed on the things above that God has called us to focus on and we are not distracted by the things of this world, we will continue to grow in our walk. When you are doing that 8th load of laundry, focus on Him. When you have changed that 5th diaper in the last hour, focus on Him. When you are barely awake and seem you can’t get any more tired, focus on Him! The one thing I feel that can really easily distract us moms from focusing on Christ is the “to do list.” I sometimes find myself saying it over and over in my head. We are the ones typically who keep the house functioning by remembering when events are happening, what needs to be bought, what needs to be cleaned… the list goes on! Just write it down or put the things that need to be done in your phone and stop focusing on it. It makes a world of difference!” If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3 ESV
2. Accept the Changes
You may of had a daily routine prior to children entering your life that has allowed your relationship with Christ to grow. I am sure the routine you had for your devotional reading, or listening to worship music, bible journaling, praying, or just being still and listening for our Heavenly Father’s quiet voice has changed. This was something I struggled with in the beginning as a mother and over the last year it has become easier for me to find those moments where I can connect with God even though they are not the same as they were. I am not on my own schedule anymore so I am ready to do any of these things when I have time the pops up. I keep Family Life Network app on my phone so I can turn it on and listen when I do dishes, I have a note pad in my purse if an idea for writing pops into my head or scripture I want to read more into. The hardest one I still struggle with is finding quiet time and more importantly quieting my mind to listen to what God wants me to hear. But I have found gardening helps me keep my hands busy and it allows me to listen better. But the most important thing to remember in the midst of all the changes is we are always changing, being molded and taking on different seasons of life, but God remains the same! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17 ESV
3. Make Time for Him
As your child goes from a few days old to just a few months old, your schedule changes drastically, sleeping, and feeding schedules change quickly and your overall routine can change from week to week. It is important to make that time for God even when you feel like there is no routine or schedule in your life. I like schedules, lists, and checking off that I did something. But when our son came along most of those things didn’t happen. I would make a list and forget to write something down or lose it, his and our schedule changed so much I just ended up going with the flow. There wasn’t really an order to what I was doing each day and let me tell you, I didn’t like it. I soon found I was trying so hard myself to “get things done” that I wasn’t leaving any time for God. That was my biggest mistake as a first time mom. All of these things should not have matter especially if I would have been putting God first. If I seek Him first and make Him priority #1, everything else falls into place. I know you are thinking, “I used to be able to go to a weekly bible study and sit through church not distracted or were able to read and spend time alone with God for an hour but now I can’t”. You can. It may not be as long but the 10 minutes you devote to Him in the midst of your crazy schedule you will still grow from because you are making Him a priority. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV
4. Pray More
When everything seems not to be going in the way you intended, stop and pray. My prayer life has become dramatically different since our son has come into our lives, I pray more now than I ever have! I feel God’s presence and control more now and I know it is because of the hours I spend during the day bringing anything and everything to Him through prayer. I talk with God and ask Him to guide me in times when I am troubled or when I just want to talk with Him and quietly listen. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 ESV Want to find more ways to focus on your prayer life? Check out 7 ways To Reignite Your Prayer Life.
5. Be More Patient
I feel like no matter what we can always be more patient, but my ability to be more patient has grown so much since having a child. I keep in mind, I have been called by God as one of His chosen people, I have some really big shoes to fill! I need to show God’s goodness and how it is working in me, by following His commands, and by being a patient mother and wife because it is important to God. He wants us to stand out and be the light of this world, showing His goodness through our actions and love we have for one another. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…” Colossians 3:12 ESV
6. Minimize Social Media
We live in a world where we have quickly become more disconnected with each other and the means of socialization is through media sources. This connection can be a great tool for our faith, reading testimonies, commentaries, listening to worship music, and watching sermons. But it also is a mighty and deceiving trap from the enemy. Social media can so easily take your focus off the Lord onto other things. I think the best way to avoid these distractions that so quickly without realizing it can consume our precious time, is by fasting from social media and or really minimizing any time we spend on our phones, tablets, or computers. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” Romans 12:2 ESV
The enemy is smart and conniving. He can in a moment take your eyes off the real reason you went onto your phone for scripture or an article to looking and suddenly you are focusing on what others are doing, fixing your eyes on the successes and accomplishments of others instead of focusing on Him. When we follow what the world is doing, we lose that Kingdom focus, we lose what God wants us to remain doing. This has been difficult for me because I use social media for our blog and for our church needs. Although we are to be set apart from the world, we are still apart of this world for now. You have to find the sweet spot where what you are doing is for God’s Kingdom and His Kingdom only. Once you give in, even for just a minute, that minute can easily turn into an hour, a whole hour you could have been focusing on Him. “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27 ESV If you find yourself on social media but don’t see the harm in it, I recommend reading 7 Benefits to a Social Media Fast. You might be surprised in the difference you experience by following these suggestions for just a week!
7. See the Connection
Having a child only deepened my connection with the Lord. I can relate more to the love He has for us, the fact that His one and only Son died for me. I guess I wouldn’t even use the word “relate” because its something we all can never fully grasp. Following the birth of our son, this verse now takes on a whole new perspective, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16 ESV It brings me to tears to even write this out because of the love we have for our children doesn’t even come close to the love God has for us; His children. I believe God gave us the ability to form families with strong bonds, show affection, and great love for one another so we can have a partial idea of how much He truly loves us while we dwell here on earth. So we can feel and know what true love is and see the magnitude of Jesus Christ and what He has done for you and this world! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17 ESV
If you are reading this article right now just know God is not finished with you, He is molding and creating something beautiful out of the trials you are facing. Motherhood doesn’t ever end and so we must embrace the ever changing seasons while abiding in His word with our eyes fixed on the prize…the Kingdom of Heaven!