I’ve been thinking about priorities lately, and since I spoke to some college girls about the topic, I thought I’d go ahead a whip up a little Femina post about it.
When we try to navigate through the many things we each have to do and the many decisions we have to make, we need to have some kind of thoughtful grid in place to help us make wise choices about how we spend our time. Keeping priorities is not some wooden thing that we just enforce on our schedule in an external way, but is rather a perspective that requires ongoing wisdom, discernment, and self-discipline.
For the Christian woman, whatever her age, her first priority is obviously to love and serve God. That means living like a consistent Christian, staying anchored to the Word, worshiping each Lord’s Day, and being a woman of faith and prayer. This helps keep us centered on the important things.We don’t make commitments that would take us away from regular worship, and we don’t quit reading our Bibles because we have so much other reading to do for school.
Secondly, we are women. This means we are wives or daughters or mothers, so we have obligations related to these family ties. Daughters must consider their relationship to their parents, keeping connected and continuing to honor them, even while they’re off at college. Wives have husbands to help, and that help must stay on the top of the pile and not get shoved to the bottom. Mothers of little ones are needed in countless pressing ways, day in and day out. They have to sort out all their other duties in light of the immediate needs of the children, and this is no easy task.
Third, many have a calling as students or employees. This is not your first priority, but your third one, coming after your duties as a Christian and as a woman. This means you are faithful as students or workers, fulfilling your obligations and commitments, being on time, getting the job done, and so forth. And the first and second priorities help keep this one in perspective. We are not to sacrifice #1 or #2 for the sake of #3. In other words, if you have to compromise your faith in order to ace the class, then it would be better to flunk the class. If you have to lie to keep your job, then it would be better to lose the job.
Finally, believe it or not, our last priority is our free time. (Mothers of little ones, I know you are laughing at the thought of how to manage your “free time”!) But students in particular need to exercise wisdom here. College girls, are you spending your free time hanging out with the wrong people or watching movies that are a waste of time? If you opt to watch a movie instead of write the paper due on Friday, then you are getting your priorities out of whack. Get the work done, then relax. And make sure your entertainments are refreshing and delightful, providing the relaxation you need rather than the kind that you need to confess to God after the fact. That goes back to priority #1. You are a Christian. Your entertainments should be the kind that God is pleased to see you enjoying.
When things come up, and they always do, keep this basic hierarchy in mind. It will help you make wise choices and protect you from getting your schedule all catawampus.