“Just Enough” Extra Curriculars Even A Possibility? Yes!
A new season of opportunities is upon us with the beginning of a school year. How can we help our kids be involved in a healthy amount of extra curriculars, but not overdo it? Madi points us to making sure we enable our kids to sit with Jesus daily and ask His help for deciding what to be involved in.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”’ Luke 10:38-42
When I was in high school, I had an older woman in my life tell me, “if you are too busy to spend time with God, then you are busier than He ever intended you to be.” I remember sitting back and reminding myself of the purpose of why I was on this Earth. I was here to glorify the Lord, make His name great and grow in Him. I needed to be Mary, but I was living as Martha.
How do we balance our children needing extra-curricular activities and knowing when our children are involved in too many?
- What are they involved in? It’s important for us to take a step back and inventory activities. Sometimes our children are involved in too many good things. We may say, “Well sports are good and so is the Bible study he attends as well as youth group and Spanish club.” Yes, all those things are good for our kids! But there is a point where our kids are running themselves (and quite possibly their taxi driver!) into the ground and setting Jesus time to the side. Make a list of activities your kids are in and talk through it with them about how much time each activity takes up and if that is the best use of the family’s time.
- What does time with the Lord look like for my child? I am a firm believer our children are never too young to be sitting with Jesus daily. Our Batter’s Box time in the summer is specifically designed to help and encourage our kids to be reading and studying God’s Word throughout the year. Often when I ask high schoolers how their time with the Lord is, they look at me and say they don’t have time for that. Let’s help them carve that time out.
- Foster involvement with a balance. I don’t think there is a magical number for the amount of extra curriculars our children should be involved in. It is an individual balance we ask God to help us with to make the best decisions for each of our children. I think the best thing we can do for them is to help them figure out time in their schedule to sit with the Lord for a little each week.
We can’t overlook the importance of parents modeling carving out daily time to sit with the Lord and read His Word. He’s here to help us find the right schedule for ourselves and each kiddo He has entrusted to us, so let’s ask Him as a new season of school and opportunities is upon us.
Read the Bible story above about Mary and Martha. Are you more like Martha or Mary? What are some tangible things you can do to take steps to be more like Mary?