Balancing Volunteer and Family Responsibilities

As parents, we lead by example. Knowing Christ has called us to have a servant’s heart (Luke 17:10), we actively seek opportunities where we can put this calling into action.

But when our volunteer responsibilities overwhelm us, are we the best examples?

There was a time when I was loath of saying “no.” Not only did I feel guilty because I could see the need around me, I wondered if I was truly following what God called me to do. I rarely said “no” to any opportunity because of that feeling of guilt. What I couldn’t see is that because I was tired running from this place to the next, I became irritable with my family. Was that what Christ had in mind when he encouraged His followers to be good servants? I don’t think so.

Now, when a new volunteer opportunity arises, I don’t answer right away. I go home and pray about it. Then I consider my current schedule, how much of a time commitment this opportunity will require, and think about what is best for my family. If it requires too much, I say “no,” but also ask them to keep me in mind for the future. Just because I have to say “no” now, doesn’t mean my schedule won’t open up three months later and allow me to help in another way. I also look for opportunities that allow me to involve my children. That way we are spending quality time together for a good cause.

Balancing volunteer responsibilities with your family’s needs will help show your children how to have a servant’s heart, while letting them know they are important too.

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Balancing Volunteer and Family Responsibilities — 1 Comment

  1. I could not agree with you more! This is something I think about quite a lot lately, and I have gotten much better at saying “no.” Limiting involvement allows us to be fully invested to our commitments rather than just barely getting by with all that we do! And you’re right, it keeps us from getting grumpy and frustrated with people. I also find when I’m too busy, I can’t really be in tune with what the Holy Spirit wants to say because I already know my agenda and have little enough time to get it done or listen for guidance. Also, in a culture that elevates busyness and uses guilt to get people to do more and more, we have to be careful not to get swept up by the tide that tells us more is better.

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