So often, our families are defined by busyness. We run from one thing to the next in a constant shuffle to keep up. Our family’s lives have very little margin, but it is in the margin where we allow space to slow down and notice God’s work and the opportunities He puts before us. Leaving space for margin in our lives could open three different opportunities for our families and us.
1. Margin for Jesus. In Matthew 14, Jesus has been in a very busy season of life and ministry, yet He “took time by himself to pray” (Matthew 14:23 ESV). Jesus was intentional to find margin even in a busy season to spend time with the Father and to cultivate growth in His relationship with God. Jesus made the space in the middle of the crazy for what mattered most to Him. Does your family schedule have margin for time with Jesus?
2. Margin for Relationships. Though relationships may include much activity, they are built through conversations, time, and intentionality. These building blocks all come from margin. Throughout the gospels, we see many times when Jesus took time away from the masses to spend time with His disciples. Jesus created a free space to build and deepen relationships. In the free space of margin, we allow life to slow enough to have conversations that matter with our spouses, kids, friends, extended families, and neighbors. Does your family pace have time for good conversations?
3. Margin for Ministry. God is at work constantly in the world around us, but we often miss it because of our busyness. Daily, God puts opportunities in front of us to serve, love, and give. In Mark 5, Jesus allowed Himself to be interrupted by a woman who was bleeding and needed His help. Jesus took time to pause, notice her, and bring healing to her. Maybe if we took a minute to slow down our busyness, we might see whom God has placed in front of us to minister to and encourage. Does your family schedule allow time to look for opportunities to join God in His work?
Though our culture celebrates busyness, opportunities are found in the margin of our lives. Through the extra space in our family’s schedule, we can connect with Jesus, grow deeper in our relationships with others, and join God in His work.
Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham
Writer and Speaker