Balancing Family and Work

Balancing Family and Work

Have you seen this meme floating around Facebook?

You are totally replaceable at work.
You’re not replaceable at home.
Home is your real life.
Keep that perspective. Always.

Truer words were never written anywhere or at any time. However, those of us who are driven to produce and are good at what we do at work sometimes have a hard time with this truth. Ok, maybe we don’t have a problem with the truth of that meme, but we have trouble with its practical application. Here’s why.

Work is a well-established biblical truth. You can debate some things in the Bible, but the principle of work isn’t among them. When you combine the strong work ethic that many people have with the command to work and provide for your family, it sometimes produces an attitude altogether unintended.

Workaholics, overachievers, “type-A personalities.” These, in turn, lead to someone who lives to work instead of working to live. What’s the difference?

Someone who works to live does what is necessary to provide for their family. Yes, it often requires lots of hours, but the priority is the family, and they try hard to not let work cut into the actual time they spend with their family.

Someone who lives to work is always looking to how they can spend more time doing their job so they can be better at it and make more money along the way. If their family has to sacrifice in the process, it’s all for their good anyway.

This used to be a male problem when the wife stayed at home to raise the children while he provided the income. Though it is an issue still dominated by men, many women have fallen into this trap as most families have become two-income earners rather than one.

Ephesians 5:28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

The life of the believer is always one of balance. Just like worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, etc. must be in balance for you to grow spiritually; work and family must be in balance for your family to grow and be healthy as well. And remember, the institution of marriage is a visual representation of our relationship with God. If you are single with kids (for whatever reason), there is an extra burden on you, but the responsibility is there, nevertheless.

Years ago, I had a big, popular football player sit in my office and cry like a baby. He pulled out wad of $20’s and $50’s from his pocket and said, “I’d give all this back to my dad if he’d just spend an afternoon with me!” His parents were trying to “pay him off” while they earned tons of money and lived the “high life.”

Your spouse and your kids need YOU, not just your money. It’s hard when you’re a driven personality, but it’s the right thing to do…ask them.