What does it mean to Live a Christian Simple Life?
Simplifying your life as a Christian allows you more time to spend time with God, and family. It allows you more time to serve others, and volunteer in you church. It helps you to really feel present. To live your life to the fullest, with God at your center. Simple living is to get rid of everything in your life that is not important to you, and focusing on what is important.
1. Spend Time Outdoors
I read in Get Your Life Back, that we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. That means if we were 100 years old we spent 90 of those years inside. The perspective is shocking. Living a simple life means slowing down. To do this being outdoors helps a lot. I find that as a Christian being outdoors helps me feel closer to God. In the Bible Jesus spent a lot of time outdoors preaching, and praying. It is after all His creation. He designed it specifically for us to enjoy. Not to mention the health benefits from being outside in the sun, and fresh air.
2. Stop buying things
Being consumed with things all of the time, and buying them makes things more complicated. It keeps you constantly on the hunt. I should know, since I was a shopaholic. You can’t slow down, or simplify your life because you are always buying things. Then you are never making time for what is important. For me that is definitely God, and family.
3. Spend time reading Scripture
Spending time focusing on what God wants of you helps to show you what is important. I found that not buying things allowed me to then spend more time reading scripture. The Bible is the ultimate source of simple living ideas. God talks about being thankful. If you are thankful you are not looking to have more things. If you are content with what you have, and where you are in life then you are more present. Being more present allows you to really live life to the fullest. My time reading scripture has opened my eyes to all of the things God wanted of me. I was really seeing Him more fully for the first time in years.
4. Declutter your home
This is where it all began for me. Decluttering my home, and practicing minimalism helped me to see all of what is important. It helped me to slow down, because I wasn’t tending to things anymore. Having less in your home allows you to clean less. If you have less in your home then you can spend more time with family. If you own less you are less consumed by it.
5. Slow down
This is a hard one in our culture. It is all about going as fast a humanly possible, and always having things to do. It is not acceptable to just be. Our family has always been pretty focused on having a lot of family time. We don’t do nearly as many things as a lot of families do. I came from a home that lived pretty simply, and so it carried over to me. Children especially benefit from slowing down. They benefit greatly from having as simple life.
Things that help with this are not having your children in every activity they want to do. Maybe have them just choose one per week. This allows for more family time at home. If your lives are very scheduled all of the time it leaves little room for just enjoying the present. Not to mention all your children want is your time and attention.
6. Get rid of debt
Getting rid of debt allows you to live a simple life, because you can then work less. If you are always working to pay off debt then you are a slave to those that you owe money to. This is something we are currently working on. The Dave Ramsey Plan is a great plan to get started. There are a ton of free videos of his you can watch on youtube to figure out how it works.
The freedom that comes from being debt free would allow you to do so many more things. My grandparents have been debt free forever, because they have always believed in paying cash for everything including cars. The only time they said they borrowed money was when they purchased their farm. They paid that off as quickly as they could, and have not had debt since.
7. Eat fresh from local farmers
If you buy food from local farmers you are slowing down, and you are eating healthier food. You know that the food you are buying is supporting a local family rather than supporting large businesses at the grocery store. It helps you to eat less processed foods when you buy things that are made from scratch from these farmers as well. They often can things, bake bread, and pies. If you don’t do those things yourself, it is a great way to eat things that are not processed.
8. Buy quality Items
Buying quality items instead of buying lots of items, which are not made from people in sweatshops is super important. Especially as a Christian I think that we need to be understanding that cheap things often means the people who made them are not getting paid enough. When you buy less, but quality items you are then in turn having to buy them less. They last longer that cheaply made items. That saves you money in the long run. I used to buy the cheapest things, and then realized if I spent more on something that was quality it lasted so much longer. It also was prettier.
9. Eat dinner with your family every night
If you take the time to eat dinner with your family each night it allows you to bond with your family so much more. Especially when you don’t have a screen in front of your face. You can look at each other, and communicate. This has been such a great thing for our family to hear about our days, and to fellowship with one another. If you take the time to do this it helps you to slow down, and to really be present with your family.
10. Spend less time on screens
There is so much research on screen time, and how the more you spend the more depressed you become. We have seen such a surge in screen time with social media coming about. I know this is the case, especially with children. Our children’s classmates are bringing phones to class, and being allowed to be on them in between classes. They are being allowed to be on Tiki’s Tok at a young age, and this is so sad.
More time on screens affects your attention span, and keeps you from spending time with friends and family in real life. It keeps you from being present. It keeps you from spending time with God. With the iPhone now telling you how much time you spend on your phone now, it really helps to show you how much time you are spending. Imagine if you spent the time you spent on your screen doing a project you have been wanting to do, or going on an adventure outside. You would get so much more benefit from that, than scrolling through instagram.
Here is the link to the book I mentioned Get Your Life Back