Is “Me Time” a Lie?
An anonymous person posted to my last blog entry a comment that I have decided to respond to here, rather than just in the comments.
First, they said “‘Me time’ is a lie.” However, in Genesis we learn that God rested on the 7th day. In the Torah, over and over we read God instructing the Israelites to build in time to rest, build in time for the ground to rest, to stop their hard daily toil for one day to focus on worship. In the New Testament, Jesus took time away, alone, even when his disciples argued with Him that He was doing a dis-service to the people who clamored for His help. If “Me-time” was really a lie, Jesus would not have taken time away for Himself. But He, a divine being who was also simultaneously and equally human, needed solitude to commune with God! How much more then do we who are totally human, need quiet and rest and time away.
But as my post, and the many comments to it, points out, we mothers end up bringing our jobs with us to church. And the church is failing us. It is failing to provide even a couple of hours to step away, clear our heads, worship God, fill our hearts with the Word, and then return to our precious children renewed for the week ahead.
Yes, we are to spend quiet time in prayer and Bible reading at home every day. But I’m guessing that this commenter is not a mother, or is so far removed from those early years that they have forgotten how difficult this is. How many times have I resolved to get up early, only to be needed 2-3 times in the night by various children? How many other times have I resolved to read after the kids go to bed, only to fall asleep from utter exhaustion just a couple sentences in? The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is so weak. And we are in a battle in which our enemy does everything in his power to prevent us from communing with God. Do not underestimate the challenges we face.
Second, this comment seems to discount the value of hearing the preaching of the Word. The writer seems to think that getting that preaching 2nd or 3rd-hand from someone else or via a CD is just as good. I know from personal experience that this is not true. We NEED to hear God’s Word preached skillfully and publicly — losing this, especially over an extended period of time, does extensive damage to a person’s faith. If we didn’t need to hear God’s Word preached to us in a gathering of believers, the Bible would not emphasize preaching. Dr. Stephen Lawson, pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama, stated at this year’s Ligonier conference,“The preaching of the word is the primary ordinary means of grace.”
Third, this comment assumes many things that only exist in a perfect world. They assume that every mom is married. They assume that every mom is married to a godly man. And they assume that every mom is married to a godly man who is gifted to teach/preach the Word. And because they assume those things, they seem to think that excuses the church from its failure to minister to those who live in an imperfect world and who need help.
Finally, I wish to say that looking at myself and assessing what I need to do for my soul is not sinful or selfish, as you assert. If my soul is starving and weak, I MUST find refreshment in order to be the godly mother to my children that God calls me to be. And seeking that refreshment and food from the church is a good and biblical solution! In the same way, if my body is starving and weak, I must find food and rest in order to be the godly mother that God calls me to be. Only when my soul is in communion with God, which requires quiet time in the Word, prayer, and the preaching of the Word in a church community, will I be able to teach and guide and bring up my children to also love and commune with God.