How to Live a Simple Christian Life

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In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget the deeper, more meaningful aspects of life. Answering the question ‘how to live a simple Christian life’ isn’t going to be the same for each family or individual, but at the core simple living is simply the idea of removing the distractions of the world to focus on our growth in Christ.

In our simple home that is also quite chaotic at times with four young boys running we find simplicity in pushing aside the chaos (even though it most definitely still exists) and finding joy in the mundane. We focus on traditional skills like healthy cooking, growing our own food, and being outdoors as much as possible. We try to reduce the time we spend running around doing activities and instead enjoy the simplicity of being home together. Although we certainly are not minimalists, we are not maximalists either, and we frequently remind our children that people are more important than stuff.

A trick I got from a fellow online writer is that whenever our children are fighting or complaining about a toy a good script to use is “Did Jesus come, live, and die for that toy?” Of course, the answer is no. The idea is to remind our children that whoever they disagree with is of eternally more value than the possession they are fighting about.

However ‘good’ those simplistic mindsets might be they certainly are not the key to living a simple Christian life. It goes much deeper than that.

For Christians, the call to a simple life is not just about reducing material possessions, living traditionally, or creating simple schedules for our families, but aligning one’s life with the teachings of Jesus Christ and focusing on spiritual growth. When we live a simple Christian life, we are no longer living for ourselves and our desires, but we are living for God. To live a slow Christian life means we are dying to ourselves, dying to the busyness, dying to the desire for material possessions, dying to the temptations of the word. Dying to ourselves and dying to the world means we are living in Christ.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21 ESV

Today we are going to explore what it means to live a Christian simple life, how Jesus practiced slow living, and offer practical tips for incorporating simplicity into your daily walk with Christ.

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What is a Christian Simple Life?

A Christian simple life, often referred to as Christian minimalism, is about living in a way that prioritizes faith, relationships, and spiritual well-being over material things and societal pressures. It’s about embracing a simpler lifestyle that reflects the teachings of Jesus Christ, but more importantly (and this is key) understanding that we do these ‘simple practices’ not because we want to have our best life here on earth, but because we are preparing for our heavenly home. Live your life for this world and you’ll lose it all. Live your life for Jesus while preparing for our heavenly home and you’ll get the joy of this world thrown in as a bonus.

A Christian simple life involves reducing distractions, decluttering our lives of non-essentials, and focusing on what truly matters—our relationship with God, our family, and serving others.

Did Jesus Practice Slow Living?

Jesus Christ exemplified slow living throughout His ministry. He often withdrew to solitary places to pray, spent quality time with His disciples, and prioritized relationships over the busyness of life. The Bible records several instances where Jesus took time to be alone with the Heavenly Father, showing us the importance of spiritual renewal and rest. His life was marked by intentionality, focusing on fulfilling God’s will and spreading the good news of the kingdom of God.

But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

Luke 5:15-16 ESV

Slow Living in Our Homes

Jesus Christ pours out his love on us every day. It is an everlasting, neverending, eternal love that can pierce the soul, move the heart, and fill the mind. What is so amazing about this love is that we as homemakers and mamas can pass this love on throughout our homes by living out the love of God through our actions and words. We can make these healing oases’ for our families where they feel the love of God and their hearts and change.

We all live in a home of some kind. Our homes are not made out of walls but rather eternal souls that need the redemption of Jesus in their lives. Of course, we as women are not solely responsible for the eternal destination of our families, but we can be the gatekeepers of our home and provide a place where the gospel can flourish.

We can provide god-honoring days filled with scripture, prayer, laughter, memories, reflection, and love. When we live a slow lifestyle we will find true appreciation and peace. When there is obedience to God, there is peace. A slow Christian life is the opposite of gain; it’s surrender.

The value of simplicity prayer journal

Simple Life Bible Verses

Does the Bible exclusively mention the simpler life? No. There’s nothing that I can find where the Bible specifically focuses on this idea of a simple lifestyle. However there are many passages that elude to this type of lifestyle, but more importantly, encourage a godly life.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

When I look at my treasures on this earth, I’m looking into the eyes of my children, the eyes of my husband, and the eyes of our family and community. Our eternal destination and these eternal souls are the treasure which we should be investing our time, talents, and life into.

Christian minimalism is the idea that we eliminate the ‘stuff’ of life to focus more on the eternal treasures of heaven. It’s not just material possessions, although that can be a large part of it, but also the idea of minimalizing our lifestyle as well.

How to live a Christian simple life - 1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV

So often we focus on the last part of these verses but today I want to draw your attention to the first part where it says, “but godliness with contentment is great gain”. I don’t know who is going to be reading this but since I typically talk to moms and homemakers, I’ll take a stab in the dark and assume I’m speaking to that group.

As homemakers and moms (no matter what stage we are in) we have a propensity to desire what we do not have. Actually, that is probably a universal truth that is not just relegated to homemakers and mothers. As we pursue God and naturally become more godly, (and no that is not a prideful thing to say, it’s just what should be happening if we truly are pursuing our maker), we will find ourselves more content.

It says in Matthew 6:25-34 that God will provide for his people. He will provide for you and meanwhile, our job is to find contentment no matter our circumstances.

Truth be told, I am not a contented person, just ask my husband, and he will readily agree that striving for ‘more’ is a cardinal sin of mine. At the end of the day, no matter how much work I get done, I want more. The gardens are never big enough, the house is never clean enough, the projects are never done well enough, the budget is never expensive enough, and I could go on and on. These things that my heart longs for are hemorrhaging evidence of a bigger problem.

What’s the bigger problem you may ask? As Paul continues to write in this 1 Timothy passage he starts talking about the love of money and how it can be a root of evil. He expands on the topic by saying that some people who followed their love of money wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with “many griefs.”

The bigger problem is that when we find ourselves discontent at the deepest part of what we are saying is that God has not provided enough for us. When we find ourselves content with our circumstances we will get ‘great gain’ instead of ‘many griefs’

How to live a simple Christian life -  Ecclesiastes 4:6

Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:6

The verse encourages contentment, a cornerstone of a simple Christian life. In today’s world, there’s a strong emphasis on acquiring more—more money, more possessions, more achievements. However, this constant pursuit often leads to stress, dissatisfaction, and a sense of emptiness, akin to “chasing after the wind.” A simple Christian life, on the other hand, values contentment with what one has. This doesn’t mean living in poverty, but rather finding peace and joy in sufficient provision from God.

Living with “one handful with tranquility” means aligning our lives with God’s plan rather than pursuing our own desires. This involves seeking God’s will in all areas of life and being content with His provision. It also means prioritizing our time and energy on things that have eternal value, such as our relationship with God, serving others, and living out the teachings of Jesus. This way, we avoid the “chasing after the wind” that comes from following the pattern of this world.

how to live a simple christian life - Ecclesiastes 4:6

Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Paul’s exhortation to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” is central to simple Christian living. This transformation involves a fundamental shift in how we think and what we value. By immersing ourselves in God’s word and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, we can shift our focus from the temporary pleasures of this world to the eternal joys of the kingdom of heaven. This renewal helps us to prioritize our relationship with God, spiritual growth, and the well-being of others over the accumulation of material things.

These verses encourage us to focus on spiritual wealth rather than material possessions, highlighting the temporary nature of worldly goods and the eternal value of a life devoted to God.

How to Live a Simple Christian Life – Tips

There are two tips for Christian simple living that are non-negotiable. We are told as believers in Jesus to read the Word of God and spend time praying. There are many other spiritual disciples that are necessary and important, but those two are non-negotiable. If you want to grow in Christ you will read your Bible and communicate with your Savior. The rest of the tips for simple living that I personally recommend are certainly good things, but I would be heartbroken if people felt guilt over these suggestions.

Recently I was listening to a Christian woman talking about a simple Christian life and she presented the tips her family strives for as non-negotiables. One of the tips was not allowing your children to watch more than 90 minutes of screen time a week. I caught myself as the guilt started to spread throughout my heart and mind. I truly LOVE the fact that a family can have a non-negotiable policy of 90 minutes of screen time a week. What a gift and what a commitment! However, as a full-time working mom who spends a lot of it working from home, that is not realistic.

When we look at this question of ‘how to live a simple Christian life’ we need to remember that this is not going to look the same for each family or each person, what’s more, it’s not going to look the same for you throughout the entirety of your life. We all go through seasons where aspects of simple living will get modified. My kids watch more screen time right now than I would like, but I know it’s just a season and there will come a time when I will be able to modify that aspect of our pursuit of a simple lifestyle.

Without further ado, here are my tips for how to live a simple Christian life.

1. Read Your Bible

The first step to living a simple Christian life is immersing yourself in God’s word. Remember this one is non-negotiable. I’m not going to tell you that need to immerse yourself in scripture for a certain amount of time but I will say that you will not grow in maturity in your faith without the Word of God.

Regular reading and meditation on the Bible help align our thoughts and actions with God’s plan. It’s not just about reading for knowledge, but allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and minds.

Bible Reading Plans

One-Year Bible Reading Plan!

Want to dive deeper into your faith this year? Increase your relationship with Jesus? Understand the Bible more? Then the one-year Bible reading plan is for you! We will work our way chronologically through the Bible starting in January and finishing in December.

Don’t worry! You don’t have to start in January, you can start at any point of the year!

2. Spend Time Praying

Prayer is a vital part of a simpler, more focused life. By spending time praying, we connect with the Heavenly Father, seek His guidance, and find peace amidst life’s challenges. Make it a daily habit to spend quiet moments in prayer, seeking to understand and follow God’s will.

3. Reduce Screen Time

In today’s world, screen time can consume much of our day, leading to a busy schedule filled with distractions. Reducing the time spent on mobile apps, social media, and other digital distractions can help us focus more on our spiritual journeys and the simple things in life that bring greater joy and a sense of peace.

Notice that I said ‘reduce’ not ‘eliminate’. Screen time is a tool that we have. I often think of Ma Ingalls when evaluating a resource in our lives. Ma Ingalls inspires me, she is so composed and gracious, but one thing I’ve always noticed about her is that she uses the resources at her disposal without fear or trepidation. I look at screen time similarly. It’s a resource that we should use wisdom with, but not fear. When we look at it as a tool it changes the way we approach it. I also think that when it comes to screen time we need to remember more frequently what Philippians 4:8 encourages us with

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

4. Better, Not More

This one is a tough one for me because I love my ‘pretties’ as I refer to them with my kids. If we live in a first-world country, chances are we could all do with material possessions declutter. Instead of focusing on more, try focusing on better. This can be from the food we buy to the sheets we place on our beds. Better not more.

5. Spend Time Outside

Spending time in nature can be a powerful way to experience God’s creation and find tranquility. Whether it’s a walk in the park, a hike in the woods, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee on your porch, being outdoors can refresh your spirit and help you appreciate the simple beauty of the world around you.

I love doing grounding practices where I go outside and walk on bare earth. You’ll have to do your own research on the benefits but some of the reasons I do this practice is to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and reduce stress.

6. Look Your Children in the Eyes

Remember that this is my list of how to live a simple Christian life, so these items may be applicable to you and they may not be. I find that looking my children in the eyes is an essential part of slow-living life. When I have taken the time to look my children in the eyes multiple times a day it means that I have slowed down my agenda and to-do list enough to see them at eye level and know their importance.

7. Focus on What Matters Most

The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that much of what we chase in life is meaningless. Focus on what truly matters—your relationship with God, your family, and helping others. Prioritize your time and resources towards these aspects, and you will find a more fulfilling and abundant life.

More on Simplicity:

Conclusion to a Simple Christian Life

Living a Christian simple life is about more than just decluttering your physical space; it’s about a transformation of the heart and mind.

Remember that when we pursue nothing but this earth we will lose it all, but when we pursue our heavenly home, we will get the joy of this earth thrown in as a bonus. When we die to ourselves and life on this earth, it means that we are LIVING for Christ.

By focusing on spiritual growth, reducing distractions, and prioritizing relationships, we can align our lives more closely with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Embrace the simple lifestyle that God desires for us, and experience the greater joy and peace that comes from living a life devoted to Him. Pursue this earth and you ultimately will lose it all. Pursue heaven and you’ll get the joys of earth along with the glory of heaven.

Remember, the only thing that truly matters is our relationship with God and living out His will in our own lives. “A simple life with God is far better than a comfortable life without Him.”

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