Note: This is part of the Fight Like a Girl Series. The previous posts are found under Melissa's tag.
Merriam - Webster defines busy as foolishly or intrusively active.
I started pondering this several months ago, when the need for quiet living began to tug at my heart. A recent conversation with my girl has made me think about the subject in a whole new light.
I realize that my girl has an early bedtime by most high school standards. (As a reformed night owl, I can attest to the power of a good night's sleep.) Still, I was shocked to learn that some of her friends frequently stay up for hours after she's asleep. Some are watching television or trolling around on social media. Some are finishing homework they didn't start until they should've been in bed. All have been allowed to be foolishly or intrusively active.
As we were discussing the subject at dinner, I wondered about evening meals in other homes. Do the families gather around a table and talk, or are they watching television and checking their phones? If we allow technology to consume us, we can expect it to also consume our children.
In some families, dinner is regularly eaten out of a bag in the car while rushing from one event to the next. As we shuttle between practices, games, meetings, and lessons, are we teaching our daughters that motherhood is little more than being a chauffeur and social organizer? Are we taking seriously our responsibility to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled? (Titus 2:4-5) How can we teach our daughters to work at home when we are hardly ever there?
Don't misunderstand me. I think there is great value in extra-curricular activities. Through the years, my girl has played several sports and taken piano lessons. I confess that we have had seasons when most meals were eaten in the car or on the bleachers - and I only have one child to consider! Much as I dislike those seasons, I struggle with the temptation to push my girl into activities so that she'll be as popular and accomplished as some of her friends. I'm thankful that she doesn't seem to have this struggle. When I tried to find a way for her to continue piano lessons between field hockey seasons, she was wise enough to say, "I don't always need to go from one thing to the next." Oh! that I would learn from her!
Could your daughter feel the same way, but be too afraid of disappointing you to tell you? Perhaps you share my struggle. In today's society it is difficult not to feel that our children are being left behind if they aren't playing at least one sport every season, taking some sort of music lesson, and maintaining a straight-A average. Don't fall victim to Satan's lie. While hours spent on homework or the playing field may bring our girls the accolades they desire, they will never bring the rewards that are won by spending quality time with their family and, more importantly, in God's Word.
~Take a hard look at how busy your family is. Is your schedule filled
with foolish or intrusive activities? Discuss with your spouse, and
follow up with a family meeting to set limits on extra-curricular
~Commit to regular family dinners around the table at home - no electronic devices allowed!
~Honestly evaluate the lessons you're teaching your daughter about establishing priorities. Do you place little importance on meeting the needs of your family? Do you put too much emphasis on keeping up with what other families are doing? Does your own computer/social media time interfere with your family relationships?
~Consider setting a technology curfew for your home (parents included!). If a computer or phone in your girl's room may be too much of a temptation for her, move it someplace else.
~Monitor your girl's social media accounts and phone, for usage and content.
~Commit to a technology-free day of your own. Who knows, your family may be inspired by your example!
For Further Reading:
~Aimee has some great thoughts on extreme sports
~Becky is challenging us to consider quiet living in 2013
~ What living quietly means in our home