Daily Walk: No Time for “Me Time”
It is a difficult world we live in. As Christians, it is a constant battle to live “in” the world without becoming “of” the world. Sadly, our culture seems to set the standards to which we many times choose to live. We blindly embrace these standards, many times without even thinking. Oftentimes, we do so without even consulting the only book on this planet that is inspired by Almighty God. I have seen it happen over and over again, even within my own family. I could list multiple examples of how culture has not just crept but boldly trampled into the Christian home, leaving everything in its path in total disarray. It seems that whatever culture throws our way as acceptable behavior, those of us who profess Christianity should go the completely opposite direction! The most recent activity that seems to be making its way into the hearts and minds of old and young alike is something that has been termed “Me Time.” Certainly, the name itself is quite appropriate to describe what is involved. There’s no mystery here. I must say, as a homeschooling mother of 4, my initial reaction to this was “Wow, that’s what I need––some ‘Me Time!’” Just like many other things Satan throws in our paths, the initial phraseology is one that sounds delightful and enticing. 1 John 2:16 states “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” In other words, when you look at things from a Biblical and godly perspective, as we should all things that tempt us, we must be able to discern if this thing is “from the Father” or “from the world.” All things fall into one of these two categories. There should be no overlap.
In considering this phrase “Me Time,” I must pause here and say that there is nothing in and of itself wrong with taking time for yourself, for prayer and meditation, for rest for the body and soul. Jesus did this on many occasions as He separated Himself from His closest friends to pray (Matthew 14:23; Luke 6:12). However, I would venture to say that when the “Me Time” phrase is being employed, it is generally not in the context of prayer. For example, I heard this phrase being used as young mothers (and sometimes not so young!) enroll their children in “pre-school” or “Mothers’ Day Out” programs in order to employ this “Me Time” on a more regular, permanent basis. Again, there is nothing wrong with a mother taking time away from her children to rest, grocery shop, visit with a friend, or exercise. But when we are using the “Me Time” excuse for selfish reasons, for “getting rid of our children for a few hours a week,” this is sad and blasphemous to Almighty God (Psalm 127:3-5). I often think that God’s curse has been placed upon these generations in our childbearing because of the total lack of reverence we have for God’s view of children. I have even heard of a homeschooling mother who made the decision to place her children in a public school so that she “could have time to herself and do some things for her.”
Change “Me Time” to “He Time”
The world is telling us that we deserve time for ourselves. Advertisements are full of things that we need or deserve. There’s no question that we have filled our lives with so many activities and things that consume our time. We are a frazzled and busy people! It is no wonder that we have given in to Satan’s plea and find ourselves wanting some “Me Time.” Let me take this time to encourage you to turn that desire for “Me Time” into a desire for “He Time,” He being the God of all creation. Spend that time in awe of the creation. Honestly, if we are tending to all of the things that God has placed in our care, then there truly little time for “Me Time.” Christian women should be very familiar with Paul’s admonition in Titus 2. If we break that list down, older women are to spend time training younger women to 1) love their husbands, 2) love their children, 3) be sensible, 4) be pure, 5) be workers at home, 6) be kind, 7) be subject to their husbands. That’s an awfully long list with a very sobering warning at the end…“so that the Word of God will not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5). So, logic demands that if I don’t do these things listed, then I am dishonoring God and causing his Word to be blasphemed. The word used there is blasphemeo, which means to rail at or revile, or speak evil of (Vine’s Expository Dictionary; Strong’s Greek Dictionary). Would we dare speak evil of God’s Word? Yet that is precisely what we are doing when we fail to consider these things as God-given commands. Whether we fall in the “older women” category or that of the “younger women” or somewhere in between, we should not be lacking in things to occupy our time. There is so much involved in each of these commands that it is difficult to narrow it down in a short space. However, let’s glance at a few.
Older women are to teach younger women to love their husbands. You might think that this is an easy one. But any of us who have been married for longer than a few weeks understand that this command is well warranted and should be carefully considered. According to this verse, love is something that must be taught. It is not a feeling or something that we are born with. It is obvious in light of our current divorce rate that we have failed to teach this to our younger women. I am convinced that one of the greatest causes for this in my lifetime has been the Feminist or Women’s Liberation Movement, which peaked in the 1960s and 1970s. This movement focused on women’s legal rights as well as the rights women should seek in the areas of family, sexuality, and work (Encyclopedia Britannica/www.eb.com). This movement (actually there have been three “waves” of this movement), Hollywood, other forms of media, and even our government have gone to great lengths to indoctrinate society into believing that women do not need to be tied down with a husband, children, or be “stuck” in the home. A woman who professes Christ and seeks to follow His teachings, understands that loving her husband is not a feeling, but a constant desire to encourage, respect, honor, obey, and please him. Proverbs 31 describes a woman who “the heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life” (vs.11-12). The Proverbs writer draws a beautiful portrait of a wife who is truly striving to love her husband. How does she do this? By doing him good and not evil all the days of her life. That sounds to me like a life-long pursuit, one that requires diligence and forethought, rather than a passing feeling or emotion.
The next thing considered in the Titus 2 list is for the younger women to be taught to love their children. Any of us who have given birth to a child understands that this one does seemingly come easy. The love we feel for our children is so strong that we might not consider needing to apply effort in this area. However, if we use the same principle applied for loving husbands, then love for our children must go beyond a feeling, affection, or emotion. While these things are necessary and most of the time automatic, love for our children can truly be characterized by teaching them diligently (shanan meaning to point, pierce, prick) the Word of God (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), disciplining and reproving them in a God-directed way (Proverbs 3:12), and training them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
The fact of the matter is if we are truly seeking to create and nurture Christian homes in a world that has witnessed the complete breakdown of the family, there is much to do. What we do today affects our children, our grandchildren, their grandchildren, and beyond. There truly is no time for “Me Time”! A beautiful description of what this looks like is depicted in Psalm 128, where the writer describes what the Christian family should look like:
How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.