I had a meeting to prepare for this week. It took a lot of extra time away from my family to get ready for it. In the past, I have had to do this for other meetings/projects from time to time as well.
Have you ever had to do this? Spend more time at work than you usually do or want to?
I really start to have internal struggles whenever this happens, because I try hard to “give Caesar what is Caesar’s (my workplace in this instance)” and God what is God’s (being with Him and my family). Mark 12:17
Every time this happens though, I feel that my family really suffers.
That they are getting the short end of the stick.
The short end of their husband.
The short end of their dad.
It is easy to get caught up in the job that we are currently doing, trying to get our satisfaction from the things we do at work, instead of investing the time and energy into the things of the kingdom, like teaching our kids right from wrong, or reading a book to my daughter, or taking my wife out to dinner (just the 2 of us) so we can just chat and catch up on things, or playing soccer in the front yard with my son, or studying God’s word so I can know Him better.
Are you being FOR REAL when it comes to balancing your work/home/spiritual life? Are you being a real Christian Business Man?
Most guys will give the usual answers.
“That’s just how it is.”
“That isn’t possible in today’s economy – If they see me slack off at work they may let me go.”
“You don’t understand all of the responsibilities I have at work, people depend on me to come through for them and I have to deliver.”
“Working 60+ hours a week isn’t taking anything away from my family.”
…this is not the way of the Lord though.
Psalm 127: 1-2
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Check it out in the Message version:
“If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?”
Verse 2 really stands out to me. Especially the part that says “It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late…”
God is trying to teach us that we will not find what we are looking for by working all the time, working to exhaustion. Working to get things done those things that we think are important.
Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t have this work/balance/spiritual thing figured out either! But I am writing this today to encourage you and challenge you to read Psalm 127: 1-2 several times, and adjust your life as you seem led.
Sometimes work situations force us to spend more time than we should devoted to our vocation. The most critical thing will always be to remember that the One who loves us wants no more than to” give us rest” and allow us to be who we are supposed to be in our home.
What can you do today to make adjustments in your life that would honor God and your family more than your job?