Faith,  Rest in God,  Slow Living

The Importance Of Silence And Solitude For The Christian Mama

Hi, friend! Today I’m sharing about the importance of silence and solitude for the Christian mama.

So let’s start with this wonderful truth: Jesus embraced silence and solitude in His everyday rhythms. He retired to desolate places to be alone with the Father. (Mark 1:35-41)

So, if the saviour of the world spent time alone with God in silence, it only follows that as Christians, we are to do so, as well.

Granted – it’s hard. What with small children, homemaking duties, and many other responsibilities. Yet, this is so important that Jesus not only exemplified it, but talked about it too. (Matthew 6:6)

The question, perhaps then, is why time alone with God? Can’t we just read and pray with our family around? Or in a small group? What is the importance of silence and solitude for the Christian mama?

Why we need time alone with God

silence and solitude

We need to develop intimacy with God. Photo credit: Olivia Snow on Unsplash

Relationships develop in community, but they also require one-on-one time to develop at an intimate and personal level. This is actually where relationships are given the opportunity to thrive!

If my husband and I never spent time on our own, our marriage would soon break down. If my family and I never had moments together as a family unit, we’d never develop our family team vision, identity, and relationship.

It’s the same with us and God. We need time alone with God to develop intimacy. We come to Him with our deepest prayers, needs, emotions, and pain, and God comes to us with His beautiful word, peace, and presence.

The truth is, we’re seldom as transparent with anyone as we are with God (although we certainly need to walk towards that in our marriages).

It’s to Him we bring all our doubts, fears, requests. And it’s in that solitary place that God meets us right where we are.

Then when we turn to God in prayer, and spend time with Him in the eremos (Greek for solitary place) we begin to know God better. To worship Him. To hear His voice and experience His beautiful peace beyond understanding.

It’s when we spend time with God that we learn to slow down and redirect our lives to what really matters.

So now that we’ve established the importance of silence and solitude for the Christian mama, let’s look at when to spend time alone with God.

When to spend time alone with God

Early morning is a great time for some moms. Photo credit: Luke Ellis Craven on Unsplash

Time with God in silence and solitude is a practice Jesus ruthlessly protected. He didn’t simply spend time with God on impulse or just when He felt the need for it. Jesus planned it

This is clear from the several accounts of Jesus’ life. One thing we see Jesus doing is proactively withdrawing from crowded places and going to desolate places. The other thing we see Him doing is choosing quiet times to do so — early morning and late at night. 

For us, it’s the same. We need to plan our secret place meetings with God. 

When scheduling our alone time with God, it’s important we’re both realistic about our season of life, but we also don’t limit our focused time with God to a minimum possible. 

The best time of day to have time alone with God depends on each mother’s circumstances, but here are some general ideas:

  • Early in the morning before the kids get up (this is when I do it!) – if you have early risers, teach your children (if they’re old enough) to look at books or play quietly in their rooms before X time;
  • During naptime – when my children were younger, this is when I spent time alone with God;
  • Late at night – when the kids have gone to bed;

The important thing is that we find a rhythm and routine that works.

Next, let’s look at guidelines on where to spend alone time with God.

Where to spend time alone with God

When it comes to the location of your time of silence and solitude with God, I’d like to suggest two things based on my experience. 

The first is for you to choose somewhere in your home that can become your quiet time sanctuary. If you have young children, maybe you’ll have visitors there occasionally, but other than that, try to make it a distraction-free zone. (No phone or housework nearby!). Make sure it’s a room of your home or a part of a room which you use only for rest and never work. (If you work from home like me, you’ll understand why!) For instance:

  • your bedroom
  • a comfy chair in the living-room
  • the kitchen table
  • your office desk
  • a porch or balcony

I use an armchair in the living-room, which I’ve conveniently placed near a window. This is because I love watching the world awaken in the morning, as well as using the windowsill to place my Bible, journal, pens, and cup of hot lemon water.

The second thing I’d suggest is that you find a quiet sanctuary outside your home for chaotic seasons in life. This is a sanctuary you can escape to when you have guests at home, young children, or house building work (a reality I’m experiencing as I write this!). 

This could be:

  • a nearby park
  • a nature trail
  • the beach
  • your car
  • a library
  • a coffee shop

Choosing a sanctuary is not essential, of course. We can meet with God anywhere. We are living temples of His Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

The reason I suggest a specific place is that often we become more intentional about our encounters with the Lord when we have specific meeting places.

Guidelines for silence and solitude for the Christian mama

Spend time alone with God in nature! Photo credit: Jasmin Ne on Unsplash.

Solitude is not about engineering a certain experience with God or following a certain formula. We’re simply coming to make ourselves available to the Lord, whatever that looks like.

Whether we encounter a deep sense of His presence or not. Whether we spend the whole time weeping, or all the time rejoicing. Whether we find answers to our questions or not. The secret place is a place of surrender. Of allowing God to meet us where we are. 

Having said that, I want to give two general principles about what not to do. Solitude is a discipline of abstinence, whereby solitude is about what we choose to remove to make space for God

So in solitude we choose not to interact with others and we choose not to engage in anything that could be a distraction to our encounter with God. (This could even be Christian books or blogs – like this one!)

Although there is no formula, our times of silence and solitude with God will often comprise the practices of prayer, (speaking and listening to God’s voice through His Spirit), scripture meditation and scripture study.

All of these practices are interdependent and feed into each other.

Scripture study goes hand in hand with the relational side of hearing the Holy Spirit. When we spend time alone with God and open ourselves to hear His voice through the Spirit, we need to be well grounded in Scripture so as to discern whether what we’re sensing Him speak is in accordance to His written word. 

Similarly, praying is essential for us to read the Scriptures with the wisdom that comes from above rather than reading the word and striving to understand it in our flesh. 

So, silence and solitude for the Christian mama will often revole

The Experience of Silence and Solitude

It’s important to understand that while we may be externally in the quiet, often the start of our secret place meetings will be loud! Filled with our restless thoughts and prayers as our inner burdens, sins, seemingly random thoughts, responsibilities, and struggles come to the forefront of our mind. 

Then, as we seek the Lord and surrender to Him, our souls will become still

Sometimes it won’t happen in one sitting. I have days when I have so much on my mind that my whole time talking to the Lord is me venting my frustrations, to-do lists, weakness, and worries. 

The thing is, often we have so much to bring to God, that we need many minutes of sitting with Him just telling our Father what’s on our heart. Yet, as we spend more and more time alone with God with an earnest desire to seek Him, the Lord tenderly shows us to surrender all to Him. It’s then that the stillness comes.

Not because our minds have become devoid of everything, but because they’ve become devoid of anxiety and restlessness. The beautiful presence of the Lord has touched our spirit, and peace and joy take over. Much like a flower withering and then after being exposed to the sun and a fresh dose of water, reviving to fullness. 

Then after this silence, sometimes we’ll begin praising the Lord with music. (singing, clapping, and dancing)

In my times with the Lord, sometimes I spend the first portion of our encounter praying and then go on to Bible reading and meditation when my mind is still. Other times, I read the Bible devotionally and pray as I go along. 

Often in my quiet times, God leads me to prayers of confession, intercession, and praise as I spend time seeking Him. Sometimes, God will put someone on my heart to pray for. Other times, God will lead me to a specific Bible passage or verse. Other times still, God will show me how He wants to use me to be light in the darkness. 

Then there are times when God simply calls me to receive His love, which will become so real that I can sense Him rejoicing over me with singing. It’s here that I know:

“He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

A Quick Recap

Jesus exemplified silence and solitude as core practices for those who follow Him. He also spoke about the importance of praying in quiet places. As Christian mamas, we need to be intentional about spending time alone with God in order to develop intimacy with Him.

We can do so by finding a specific time (morning, evening, children’s naptime) and place (at home and/or outside) where we can meet with God on our own. The main elements to meeting with God on our own are:

  1. Silence – turn off your phone (or go out without it, if possible) and tune into God without any external noise.
  2. Solitude – it’s important to be somewhere away from distractions and crowds. Go into your room and close the door behind you, or retire to a quiet park.

Did this article bless you? Pin it!

the importance of silence and solitude for christian mamas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *