Work is a necessary part of life. But, like most things, there’s a delicate balance when it comes to managing our work hours. If we aren’t careful and intentional, work will dictate our family life and frustrate, if not harm, our marriage.
I was recently talking to several friends of mine who are facing this very predicament. One shared that her husband her husband moved their whole family across state lines to accept a more family-friendly job. At first, the job seemed to be everything she thought it would be. Her husband was home at a decent hour and could have dinner with the family most nights of the week. He only had to work on a Saturday every now and then, instead of every weekend like the previous job. So, my friend was hopeful that this new job would improve their family dynamic. But, within six months of starting the new position, her husband began staying later at the office and accepting more weekend work. Then, he would be exhausted when he came home, and many nights, he wouldn’t be home in time to see the kids before bed. They found themselves right back in the same predicament as before, and my friend was more frustrated than ever. With tears in her eyes, she asked our group of friends to pray for things to change with her husband’s schedule and for him to see how much the family needs him right now.
My friend is not alone in her frustration. So many families live like this and feel helpless to change things. But, Friends, something has to give–and it shouldn’t be the family. We can’t place our jobs before our spouse and kids. We must work to live–not live to work. There are certainly seasons when our job can be more demanding, but this cannot become the norm. We must find a way to complete our work in such a way that we still have time to invest in our marriage and children. Our job can’t love us back, but our family can. And, they desperately need our love and presence.