We have received an absolute deluge of questions about the 5 O’Clock Club. So we have postponed this week’s planned Q&A (quiet time materials for middle school kids) in order to provide answers to some of your questions. You know, it’s looking like we might actually need some club bylaws after all.
The most common question was, “What time do you go to bed at night?”
Well, the 5 O’Clock Club rules are very broad, allowing even slackers like me to be a member. Mom is our standard bearer. She gets up at 4:30 a.m. each and every morning, almost without fail. So she tries to go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00 each night. When that is not possible, she will extend her 20-minute power nap during the day, or try to go to bed early the following night (8:00 or 8:30). But by getting up at the same time each day, she has trained her body to that rhythm.
Janelle’s strategy is to wake up at 5:00 a.m. five days a week and then sleep in on Sunday and Monday (Mikey’s day off). Kristin and I bring up the rear with fits and starts. We’ll get up early for several days in a row, but when a meeting keeps us up until midnight, we don’t bother trying. We just call it a wash and try again in a day or two. I’d recommend Janelle’s approach for beginners. Mom’s strategy is for advanced members only. However, a half-hour nap during the day is recommended for all 5 O’Clock Club members.
Another frequently expressed opinion was: “I’m not sure about giving up my free time after the kids go to bed.”
Understandable. And it’s important to state here, again, that the 5 O’Clock Club is founded on principle and not practice. The question isn’t, “How early do you get up in the morning?” but rather, “Does your daily schedule reflect your priorities: specifically, seeking God at the outset of the day, romancing your husband, and serving your family?” The purpose of getting up early is to make the most important priorities most important. You may not have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to do that (I can see it now: 6:30 clubs popping up everywhere!). But I would encourage you to consider whether or not your schedule is truly serving your priorities.
Personally, I have noticed that my time early in the morning is often more profitably spent than my time late at night. If I get up early, I’m not tempted to stay up late, wasting time in the evening. I want to go to bed! And that extra hour in the morning is usually spent more productively than it would have been the night before. Now this isn’t true for everyone. My dad has a friend who does his best work between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.! The important point is that our schedule reflects biblical priorities.
Finally, a wife communicated a dilemma: Her husband’s schedule allows him to sleep in late, while she has to be at work early each morning. Staying up late with him means she misses out on significant time with the Lord.
This is a tricky one, as we always want to encourage wives to orient their lives to their husbands. And yet, this woman’s longing to spend more time seeking God is right and commendable. Now, this woman didn’t indicate whether or not her husband was a Christian. If he is not a believer (and therefore would not appreciate her desire to make QT a priority), she may need to schedule another time in the day to read her Bible, or consider getting up a little earlier (30 minutes, let’s say) and taking a nap over her lunch break. If her husband is a Christian, I would encourage her to have a conversation with him about how she can both serve and spend time with him, and still make her devotions a priority in the morning.