Is Being too Busy Sinful?

My wife and I had our fourth child recently (oh - she is so sweet!).

With our other kids in basketball, and basketball, and piano, and swim team - there is so little time for prayer and Bible reading - and I miss it.

Can being too busy be sinful? I know not of itself, but what results from it?

What do you guys do on these things?

Congratulations on baby #4!! That is wonderful!

If you are “too busy” for time with God, then you are too busy. Something has to go. Catholics believe that family life is a vocation…a calling. So, first comes God, and then glorifying God through one’s vocation (in this case, as a husband/wife/parent).

The extra-curricular activities are there to foster growth within the vocation. We help ourselves to be better parents by teaching our children responsibilities and skills, for example, which sports and other activities can develop. But when these activities take time away from God and our family, resulting in the family spending less time with God than they should, and less time with each other than they should, then these activities have become an obstacle to healthy spiritual and familial growth. In that sense, yes, they can be occassions for sin if we choose to put a priority on the activity as opposed to putting priority on God and family. Each person will have to decide, with his/her family and through prayer, how much family and God “time” is enough, and whether the activities are a distraction to that.

Hi Markie Boy,

Not judging, as I’m single and do not have a family of my own, but spiritual life should be priority number one. Of course, it’s completely fine for your kids to do sports, musical lessons, etc, but not to the point where their spiritual upbringing is affected negatively.

Again, not single, but thought I might suggest some things to help out. Maybe pray the rosary while driving in the car with your kids? Make family trips to confession / adoration? Gather the family to pray night prayer together before bed? These are all things my parents did while I was growing up, so I offer them as suggestions.

I hope that helps!

I recall seeing (though I cannot recall where exactly) something talking about how being busy with too many things can actually be a form of sloth. When we allow ourselves to be so preoccupied that we neglect our spiritual obligations, we are being spiritually lazy. But it’s easy to think that slothfulness is the furthest thing we have to worry about when we are in the midst of so much activity.

I’m not saying this as a judgment on you in particular. Obviously, if you just had baby #4, it’s understandable that you’re life is a bit busier than it used to be! And it may take some time to figure out the best schedule. We all go through times in our lives that are more hectic than others.

But being too busy is certainly a very real thing that keeps many in our fast-paced culture away from God. More and more of these extra-curricular activities (like the kid’s sports) are scheduling practices and games on Sunday mornings just to help people cram everything in.

Doing too much can be just as damaging as doing too little. They’re two sides of the same coin. So it is good for us to take stock of our lives and make sure that we have our priorities in order. And God must be a priority.

I am assuming that your children are more at the younger ages with the fourth a new baby.
I am also assuming that the basketball is a recreation type team? I think you have to look at who is doing what and why. Piano lessons are usually just once a week and practice is at home. The two in basketball, are they on separate teams due to age or can they be on the same team/ The sports you mention are winter sports so now is the season for all of them and that is why it is hectic. There are ways to manage everyone activities. You mention prayer and Bible reading, were you trying to do that as a family time? Is everyone off on Sunday night to do that.? I think there are smart ways to juggle busy family life and I think you need to sit down with the wife, look at who is doing what and why and how long (seasonal or all year) and then go from there. There isn’t a right or wrong and what works for one family may not be right for another. I know we have said no to some kid stuff but also we have realistically done other things. The people that I’ve seen get in over their heads is when their child is doing more than one sport in a season then then squeeze in something like boy/girl scouts type club with either dance/karate classes and then everyone ends up exhausted and sick and burned out.

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