Making Time for Family

As a Director of Kids Ministry, I think I get asked this question more than the average person: What superpower would you choose if you could have any superpower? My answer is always the same. I would choose to have the ability to freeze time. That’s because time is my biggest enemy. Imagine if you could snap your finger and everything around you stops. You could take a nap whenever you’re tired, or finish a project, or read that book you’ve left folded open upside down by your bed for a month.

I always feel like there’s so much I want to do and so little time. I have a wide variety of hobbies like watching sports, reading, writing, building with LEGO, playing guitar, watching shows and movies, playing video games, going on hikes, and more. I also have work projects, and church events, and people I want to get lunch with – and all of that takes time until suddenly I don’t have time to spend with God, or with my family.

Maybe it’s not about time so much as it is about priorities. We all face these decisions every day about how we spend our time, and we decide what we will do based on what becomes our top priority. Sometimes I come home from work exhausted and all I want to do is lay on the couch and binge a show. That’s not very honoring to the most important people in my life who also need my time – my wife and nine-month-old daughter.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

The words used in this verse for “time” and “season” can relate to the Greek words “Chronos” and “Kairos.” Chronos is time as we know it – linear and always moving forward. Kairos, on the other hand, means more simply “the right time”, or “opportune moment.” The following verses in Ecclesiastes go on to list examples to show that there is a time for everything.

So why do I get so hung up on time, and how do my priorities get so out of whack? I think we’ve been trained in American culture to value time above all else, and time for us is all about me. I do become self-centered frequently and prioritize the things that I want to do, whether that’s because they are fun for me in the moment, or because I procrastinated so hard that suddenly I’m scrambling to catch up. This puts my most important priorities on the backburner.

Growing up I felt that I didn’t get to spend time with my dad as much as I would have liked because he was frequently busy with work. The 40-hour work week becomes the priority for so many people in America, handed down to us by corporations that see time as money. Those hours can easily turn into 50 or 60 (especially during VBS week for me). We don’t wait for our Kairos moments, and instead rely on Chronos to tell us what we should do.

I have learned a lot about how to prioritize and use my time wisely, now that I have a daughter. I’m not perfect, but I want to put my family first after God because they are the most important people in my life. This will look different for everyone, but for me there have been a few things I have decided to be intentional about when it comes to my family:

  • We eat dinner together every night.
  • I always greet my wife and daughter with hugs and kisses before anything else when I get home (even if I have to pee really bad).
  • We intentionally come to church together each Sunday. This is a challenge sometimes because I have to get here early, and then my wife sits in the mother’s room while I am serving in our children’s ministry.
  • On weekends we do something fun, like go to the library or take a walk as a family.
  • This week, my wife turns 30, and I took the week off to spend time with her! (Tell April happy
    birthday if you see her!)

These are just a few examples from my own life about how I intentionally make time for my family. There will be different stages, or “seasons” in life that will impact how we do things together, but I always want my family to know that I prioritize them. Instead of waiting around for the Kairos moments to arrive, I will be intentional about seeking out the right time for “every activity under the heavens”. I hope that you can do the same and work on your priorities to find a good balance in your life. I do still wish that I could freeze time, though.

Caleb Haack