Parenting is Exhausting

Stay-at-home moms—or dads—as well as those with a job in the workplace, share the same challenge: finding personal time with Jesus.

Janet Page serves as associate ministerial secretary for pastoral spouses, families, and prayer.

STAY-AT-HOME MOMS—or dads—as well as those with a job in the workplace, share the same challenge: finding personal time with Jesus.

I had just opened my Bible when my 3-year-old son asked, “Mommy, will you play with me?” It was Sabbath afternoon. Frustrated, I thought, How can I ever get to know God better if I don’t study my Bible? Discouragement and guilt were part of my every day. I loved my son! I wanted to be a mom filled with Jesus’ love. But I also needed some alone time with Jesus.

I realized I needed to get up in the mornings before my little one so I could spend time with God, but I usually slept too late. When our second son was 2 years old and I was
in my 30s, I found it even harder to get up early. I then had this sudden realization that life was flying by very quickly, and if I truly wanted a closer and deeper relationship with Jesus, I had to start now!

I remembered a Bible teacher in high school who had taught me to pray a Bible text for God to wake me up. In desperation, I put my finger on Isaiah 50:4—“He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed” (NIV)—and I begged God to wake me up and kick me out of bed. He did! 

The next challenge was the alone part. No matter how quiet I was in the morning, my younger son would hear me and want me to play with him. One morning I asked him, “Do you like Mommy to be happy and nice?” He nodded. “Then you need to let Mommy spend time with Jesus.” He snuggled up beside me and went back to sleep.

I did not always faithfully get up when God awakened me, so on those days I spent time with Him in His Word later in the day—although it was more challenging because of the noise and distractions. I would explain to my children, however, that I was spending time with God, and they would usually play by themselves while I did that.

I learned the importance of carving out daily quality time with the Lord, and I also discovered some innovative ways to do that, such as listening to an audio-Bible or a spiritual book while feeding infants, talking to Jesus and meditating on a Bible verse while caring for my children, or posting Bible verses on slips of paper over the kitchen sink to read while working.

If you’re a parent who works outside the home, commuting to work can be an opportunity for worship as well. You can listen to recordings of the Bible, meditate on a Bible verse, sing, listen to scripture songs, or pray. God’s grace and power are poured out when we do this.

Instead of spending so much time on social media, parents can spend those moments with God. Your hunger and love for Bible study and prayer will grow, and you will hear God’s voice speaking to you even more clearly. And remember that your children are watching you and that you are setting an example for them. My sons, now grown with families of their own, also make it a priority to spend daily time with God.

Family worships—where you simply read a Bible story to your children and then pray with them—can unleash God’s blessings for all of you. Also pray Bible promises every day, asking for you and your children to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is life changing! Consider such texts as Luke 11:13; John 7:38, 39; Ephesians 5:18; and Isaiah 44:3.

So, if you have young children, I understand your exhaustion and the challenge to spend quiet time with God. God understands as well. Just rest in Jesus, and He will help you. Talk to Him as you go about your work. He will bless you!

Enjoy your children—they grow up so fast—but as you learn to rest and abide in Jesus even in small ways throughout each day, God will give you joy and peace.