The Myth: I’ll have time for my family later.
My family complains when I miss a soccer game, when I’m late for dinner, or when I have to work at night or on weekends. But nobody says a word about the new house we just moved into. Or the nearly new SUV I just bought for my daughter. Or the elite soccer camp my son attended this summer. How do they think we were able to pay for all that?
The problem is, I don’t work in a nine-to-five industry. I can’t just put in my eight hours a day and go home. Why? Because there are about a dozen other people in my office ready to work harder and longer for my clients — ready to steal my recognition, my raises and my promotions. If I don’t outwork them, I might as well quit.
After years of sacrificing and giving my life to my career, I’ve finally gotten myself to a place where I feel like I’m close to having the kind of recognition (and salary) I’ve dreamed of. Then I’ll be established, and I can make up for lost time with my family.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I know how it sounds to say, “I’ll have time for my family later.” I know my wife is frustrated with how little I help out with the house and kids. And my kids sometimes wish I were a different kind of father. And I do feel guilty about working so much. But I don’t know what else I can do. If you have any suggestions, I’m listening.
Do you struggle to balance your work and family commitments? Do you feel convicted about where you devote the majority of your time and energy? Check out the following thoughts.
- Read Proverbs 22:6. Spend some time thinking about the example you’re setting for your kids.
- If you are married, set aside an evening to talk with your wife about your priorities as individuals and for your family. Make a list. Include as many different aspects of your lives (and your family’s lives) as you can think of. Determine what’s most important to you at this time in your life and what’s less important. Compare your lists and talk about the differences and similarities.
- Ask a trusted Christian friend to pray for you in this area.
- Read and consider Ephesians 5:15–17.
Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
- Take a hard look at your daily schedule. Break it down into half-hour segments if possible. Make a note of what you’re usually doing at each point in the day. Ask yourself whether the way you spend your time accurately reflects the priorities you claim to have.
- Find ways to mix family time with work time. Plan to eat lunch with your family a couple of times a week during the summer months. Never run an errand without bringing at least one of your kids along with you. Do whatever you can to integrate your family into your schedule.
- Have your kids tell you exactly what they would like from you as far as your time is concerned. Find out what’s really important to each of them. What needs to change to accommodate some of their requests?
- Cut back on a hobby or pastime you enjoy in order to spend more time with your family. Instead of going out with buddies once a week, do it twice a month. Instead of playing in a sports league, take that time to do a family sport or activity instead.
- Set aside a block of family time two or three times a week and make those times untouchable. Block out those times on your weekly calendar, and plan everything else around them.
Excerpted with permission from Rooted: The NIV Bible for Men, copyright Zondervan.
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It’s not just men who struggle with work-life balance, but this Bible is specifically for men! Guys, this is your challenge to take a hard look at your schedule through the filter of your values. You want to exhibit Godly character and faithful living, so adjust where you need to! Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you about living the life God calls us to. ~ Devotionals Daily