Maintaining balance in the Christian life is a challenge whether you’re a woman working in a career outside of the home, a mom at home caring for your children and possibly adding the responsibilities of working in a business from home, or an empty nester transitioning from raising your children to a new season of life. Juggling to meet the needs of family, household, work and self-care significantly impacts your level of peace, joy and fulfillment.
In our efforts to keep up with the many things contending for our time, we often fall short of finding a satisfying Christian life balance. We tend to spread ourselves too thin trying to do too much or we miss out on doing what’s most important to our heart in exchange for those things that are weighing on our mind.
Sometimes we even give up trying altogether, letting outside influences or inner tug of wars decide how we spend our days. This leaves us accomplished in some areas and defeated in others, or perhaps not where we want to be in any, but in any case, unfulfilled. So we often wonder how to live a biblically balanced life that is pleasing to God and also fulfilling for us.
There are many systems for time management available for us to use to handle the quantity on our to-do list, but unfortunately, if the quality of our to-do list isn’t addressed, then progress in all the areas that really matter to us in our lives, along with fulfillment within ourselves, is not possible.
When you’re out of balance in your life, you may feel overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, unfulfilled and any number of emotions that can impact you spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically and relationally. This can leave you feeling drained or empty inside and out.
Deciding how to spend your most valuable and limited resource of time is one of the most important decisions you make every day. Each step you take moves you either toward or away from God’s purpose and vision for your life.
What is a Balanced Christian Life?
Balance in the Christian life journey is not like teetering on the tension of a tightrope, but rather is like dancing with God, your loving partner, as He whispers to you which way to go. The key is to follow His lead and to engage in correction and redirection of your steps as needed. No guilt for pausing to rest—for rest is also an essential need. No regret for missing a turn—for God is always with you. No experience is wasted as you grow from the inside out.
Thriving relationships, optimizing physical health, emotional wellness, better financial stewardship, fulfilling your life’s work, increasing peace and joy, freedom from overwhelm and stress—whatever the big picture you are working towards, the result comes from movement—no matter how big or small the steps, no matter how many times you have to pick up from where you left off or adjust your path. Even if you are unclear of the direction, take small steps that fit with who you are and God’s nature while listening for God’s confirmation, redirection or guidance.
Our ultimate goal is to fulfill God’s purposes for us in each area of our daily life as we progress on our journey. As you move towards God’s purposes and vision for your life, you will always walk in hope and never be alone on your journey.
3 Things to Know for True Christian Life Balance
Beyond just knowing what tasks you should be doing in what time frame, a broader and deeper level of knowing is what allows you to transform your generic time and task management efforts into true Christian life balance.
There are three aspects to consider when making choices for achieving and maintaining balance in the Christian life. Our choices and strategies must connect naturally with the principles of God, the person God uniquely created us to be, and the purposes God is specifically calling us to in our season of life.
Knowing God is the Foundation
God is not only your creator, but He is also the source of truth, humanity’s overall purpose, and the specific plan for your life. The decisions you make from day to day are most effective when they are based in His unquestionably good and purposeful will for you in all areas of your life. Focusing on following His principles will also help you to stay within His will, avoiding unnecessary trials that can become major obstacles to your progress and fulfillment.
Sometimes the tasks you’re called to do won’t be what you expect them to be, but will be what’s best for the path in God’s vision for your life. So listening to the Spirit’s prompting on how to spend your time and energy is important to be productive in the right areas. Because God’s priority is for us to align with His thoughts and ways, He has desires and purpose for us in all areas of our life.
Whether it’s the way you steward your resources, the attitude you have when working or serving, the attention you give to caring for your mind and body and nurturing your spirit, or the investment of your whole self into your relationships, God cares about these areas and wants you to follow His lead so that you’ll experience His best for you.
Knowing God’s vision for our thoughts and actions in the major areas of our life is the foundation to deciding what takes priority as we balance our life.
So schedule a meeting with God. Bring a journal or device to write on, some music that feeds your soul, a refreshing or relaxing drink and an open heart, mind and spirit. Seek to reveal what His will is for you as a child of God in each area of your life by asking him for guidance through prayerful conversation and seeking wisdom in His word. Many times we already know what His response will be, but just haven’t taken the time or surrendered our will to allow Him to show us or lead us.
If you still struggle to know what He may want you to do in areas of your life such as spiritual growth, relationships, physical as well as mental and emotional wellbeing, work at home or in a career, finances or personal development, you can find resources to help you learn His principles and how to apply them.
For example, if you know you struggle with using your tongue in a godly manner speaking to yourself or others, The Power of a Woman’s Words by Sharon Jaynes would be a good resource to read or listen to on audio book. You can also ask a trusted friend who is spiritually mature, committed to pursuing God’s will, and perhaps is farther on their path than you in the desired area of growth to give you insights into your character or life and tips on what steps may be best to take.
When you ask and seek, you will find the answers you need (Matthew 7:7-8). Trust the Lord to establish your steps.
God is faithful to lead. Patiently wait on Him—trust Him!
Knowing Yourself Makes Balance Practical
Each of us is different, created with unique personalities, strengths, passions, gifts and other characteristics. We also have different values, life experiences and callings. So what works well for one person may not be practical for another.
If we try to balance our life by randomly taking on choices that someone else says is best, but may not be a fit for who we are as a person or our current lifestyle, we will find some things just don’t work and will feel more pressure, making it more likely to give up trying to keep up with what’s unnatural, uninspiring or impractical for us.
For example, you may not be a morning person, so devotional time may work better later in the day, and you can stick with a simple prayer for morning. Maybe you’ve been told that keeping a predictable chore chart each month is effective, but it is easier for you to decide at the start of each day what will best fit based on time, energy and priority. Maybe it’s necessary to delegate, hire help or let go of a task altogether for a time depending on your needs.
Many family members, friends and people seen as experts on various topics will have input on what they think is the best method or timing to get something done. And there is lots of great advice out there. But the only experts on what will work for you are God and you.
Understanding what you will actually be able to manage on the outside so you can keep peace on the inside is critical to creating and maintaining balance. So to be most productive and peaceful, it is essential to plan and implement according to your authentic design.
Take the time to observe what comes easily to you and how that ability can be used to more effectively plan your day. Notice the feelings and thoughts that come up when you are engaging in certain tasks in certain ways at certain times of day and see if it is really working well or if you are forcing yourself into a mold that doesn’t fit.
You can’t always adjust everything to be ideal, but if you can personalize some of the tasks within areas of life that are really causing you a lot of stress and guilt or always seem left behind, it will help you to be more productive and content moving forward.
And don’t forget to also add in doing things that bring you joy. What haven’t you done in a while that you love? What have you been longing to give a try? What brings meaning, passion and purpose to your soul? Part of knowing yourself is knowing what gives you life and incorporating it into your time so that you are truly living.
It’s ok to be different—you were designed that way with purpose!
Knowing Your Season Sets Realistic Expectations
Sometimes you may feel you should be doing certain things, or doing things in certain ways, but it just may not be best or even possible in your current season or circumstances. Having expectations that don’t fit what you’re truly able to do can cause overwhelm, discouragement and even illness from the effects of pushing yourself too hard when you really shouldn’t be.
So it’s essential to take your “shoulds” to the Lord for guidance through prayer and seeking wisdom from His word, as well as to reflect on them in light of your unique design and what is needed and possible in your current season of life.
In this season, perhaps your usual activity level or routine can’t be the same as it was prior due to physical changes or limitations. Or maybe new caretaking for a loved one or work responsibilities leave you with less free time than before.
Or you may feel guided to pursue your specific calling at this time, so more focus may be on this area than on some other things. Perhaps you’re in a period of transition in which you may not be called to any major endeavors, but renewing yourself in mind, body and spirit is the primary need.
You’ll have some common goals and some different needs depending on if you’re in a season of pursuing a career path, raising your children, or in the empty nest taking an exhale from years of pouring yourself into your family. But no matter what your life stage or responsibilities, God sees you, He hears you and He will walk with you to find out how to best spend your time and energy to become and fulfill His vision for you, even if you’re having a hard time clearly seeing His plan.
To progress in what matters most, keep focus on God’s will in this season instead of comparing your activities to those of others.
Meet yourself where you are—God does!
The process of building Christian life balance will enable you to make more life impacting decisions about how to spend your time and energy. You will not only restore your time hijacked by unnecessary activities and increase productivity in the areas that really matter, but also refill your soul with the strength, hope and purpose you need to flourish instead of just survive. You will also increase fulfillment as you meet your needs in spirit, mind and body, and progress toward your goals in all areas of your life.
Christian Life Coaching Reflections:
- What are some ways God is calling you to spend your time that you’ve not yet implemented?
- What activities or strategies are in your life because of outside influences that may not be a fit for who you are?
- What are some boundaries or limitations you must consider during this season of life to better manage your time, energy and mood?
- Where do you need support with strategies–or even to give yourself permission–to create true life balance?
If you need support designing your days to align with God’s will, who you really are and your current season of life, I invite you to contact me for a complimentary ‘From Tired to Inspired’ Strategy Session to explore how Christian Life Purpose Coaching can help you more effectively walk on the path to God’s purposes for you in all areas of your life.