As part of a culture which is straining after the American dream, Christian families are struggling to keep things together in many cases. It is taking two incomes and longer hours to achieve that illusive thing we call success. How shall we work in this demanding world and nurture our families at the same time?
First, we must try to get a biblical perspective on the place our employment occupies in our lives. The goal is that we might practice “godliness with contentment.” Relentless pursuit of riches and ruthless competitiveness are foreign to the work ethics of the Bible.
We must learn to respect the Sabbath principle. The Sabbath law, while not explicitly required of us today, demonstrates God’s intent for us to rest from work at regular intervals. Instead, many families have as much work and stress on weekends as they do in the business week. This is a terrible mistake.
With these things in mind, here are some suggestions for working people who want to have good families:
1. Be excellent managers of your time at work. Plan your work day by prioritizing your activities and concentrate on getting things done.
2. Don’t waste time in the employee lounge or visiting at other people’s desks. This will help you get much more work done in a shorter time.
3. Pray about your work and family balance. Ask God to help you order your life according to His priorities.
4. Think ahead, asking yourself how your current work patterns will affect your family if they continue for the next five years.
5. Think before you accept a promotion about what it will cost you in terms of your health and family life.
6. Build family time into your work day when possible. Have lunch once or twice a week with your spouse or one of the kids. Allow family members to drop by for a few minutes at the office. Call family members during the day just to stay in touch.
7. If your job is completely incompatible with a healthy family life, consider changing jobs. Train yourself and your family to be content with less so that financial pressure will be less.
8. Take at least one day off and plan time to give each family member individual attention.
Remember, our careers are not the focal point of our lives. They are only a means to enable us to accomplish God’s purposes. Keep things in balance for a better life!