What are your priorities? Someone once said, Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and time, and I’ll tell you what they are. What does your calendar and your bank statements say about your values?
Priorities Reveal the Heart
Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21
In light of the many natural disasters throughout our nation now, this question keeps rumbling inside me:
What does our lifestyle say about our priorities?
If outsiders were to judge your life by what they see, how would they rate your values?
- by your marriage
- in parenting
- how you spend money
- where you spend your time
More importantly, what would your spouse say? What words would your children use to describe you?
Jesus urgently taught his followers to check their hearts. It is the heart’s wishes and desires that reveals where the treasures our life centers on.
Time for a Heart-Checkup
Using the above scripture as a holy stethoscope, let’s look at two areas of concern.
Parents are expected to model the right way to do life before their children. While wanting to monitor technology and the amount of screen time our children spend daily, what kind of example are we modeling?
Pediatricians are concerned about the hazard of distracted parenting.
Parents at the playground looking at their phones while their children play, unsupervised. Parents at the Little League game checking their email and missing the all-important at-bat. Parents at dinner focused on the action on their screens, rather than the real people around the table.
Two researchers just released a study about what they term technoference. This study investigated the relationship between parent technology use and child behavior problems.
First, they asked moms and dads about their own technology use. Parents noted how often various technological devices interrupted their interactions with a child on a daily basis… Cell phones, computers, TVs, tablets, and videogames. Parents also rated their own problematic technology use: Most parents acknowledged these devices frequently distracted them when interacting with their children.
Forsaking the Faith
A disturbing pattern we see in young families is their forsaking going to church as a family.
After marriage, Ian and Sonia planned to go back to church. But before they knew it, becoming parents of two little girls made it an easy excuse
The baby was up all night; I was travelling for work; there was too much snow. And besides, we still hadn’t figured out what church we could attend.
What changed their mind was recognizing their daughters didn’t have a foundation for church and God they’d had. A statement from their 7-year-old rocked them out of all excuse making.
I don’t believe in God. I think he’s made up. Just like a unicorn.
In these tumultuous times, I can’t imagine NOT having a family of faith to call home. Although our military lifestyle shuffled us all over geographically, our commitment to raise our children in a community of faith was solid. Wherever we lived, our church family was the “stand-in” for our far away biological kin.
Relationships within our church family provided us with the hope, support and encouragement we needed in personal, marriage, and parenting issues. Church small groups became our extended family.
If going back to church is something you need help transitioning into, Christine Jensen shares ten ways to make sure church is a priority for you and your kids.
Check Your Heart’s “Treasure”
Challenge yourself to ask these questions:
- What is most important to you?
Take the time to think about this statement. Then, make a list.
- How do you actually spend your time?
John Rydell asks us to consider How would I spend my day if time and money didn’t matter? This usually gives you some clues about what is most important to you.
- How do you actually spend your money?
Forensic accountants can track down criminals by looking at their bank accounts—and email accounts and calendars. If you were being tracked, what conclusions would be drawn about you—and what’s important to you—based on how you’ve spent your time and your money recently?
What DOES your calendar and your bank statements say about your priorities?
You are loved,