If you are like most men I know, you are constantly trying to balance your priorities at work with your time at home. I am blessed to have a wife and two pre-teen children and there is no one I would rather spend time with than them. Thankfully, my kids are still at an age where they want to be around me. But I also want to give my very best at work and I know that God expects nothing less from me. So how do I manage to do both?
I read an insightful book from pastor Andy Stanley called “When Work and Family Collide: Keeping Your Job from Cheating Your Family.” Pastor Stanley explains how you are the only person uniquely qualified to meet your children’s needs as a parent. No one else can do it. However, at work, there are plenty of other qualified employees who could step in and pick up the slack.
Work will take up every moment of your day if you let it. And your child will never say, “Ok dad, I’ve had enough playing, you should go back to work.” So you are going to have to “cheat” somewhere. Pastor Stanley encourages you to give everything you’ve got at home and choose to cheat at work. This takes faith that God will pick up the slack at work and honor the choice you’ve made.
I have followed Pastor Stanley’s advice and I am so glad I did. On more than one occasion, I have made the hard choice to devote more time to my family and less time at work. And each time, God has faithfully and abundantly provided and I know my relationships with my wife and kids are stronger for it.
Like tithing, this is an area where you won’t see what God can do unless you take a leap of faith. Are you willing to take that flying leap?
See Andy Stanley preach on this topic in his series called Breathing Room at northpoint.org. Or follow the link to his book.