Striking the Right Balance between Work and Family Life
- Friday, May 02, 2008
God’s plan for you is not exhaustion and frustration over hectic schedules and time lost with your family. God’s plan for you is abundant life! John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
We often hear from couples about the stress of their busy lives. They work full time, go to school, raise kids, serve at church, and even more – and they wonder why their marriages are having difficulty.
If both of you are working full time or going to school full time, then it should be no surprise you’re having a hard time connecting. Think about it: How many waking hours do you and your spouse have together each day? If you cannot carve out even a few minutes each day to talk and connect, then you’ll be headed for trouble.
The ultimate question is: What is most important at this stage? It should be of primary importance to connect with your spouse and give your kids the security of their parents’ strong marriage. If you have the option, don’t have regrets over your family. You only get one chance with them. Perhaps putting off school for a season or cutting back on outside work hours will give you the time and energy you need for each other and for your family. We live with the lie that we can have it all, we can do it all, and we deserve it all. And when we try to do that, ultimately the piper must be paid, and many times it’s the kids and the marriage relationship that suffer.
Maybe having one of you quit work or cut back on hours is not possible. Maybe the second income is needed. Maybe that degree is one semester away. In those cases, cutting back may end up causing more stress instead of less. In such cases, you need to make a concerted effort to have a few minutes a day just for you and your spouse. You absolutely must have at least a few minutes of alone time where you can connect. This makes your marriage a priority and gives it the preventive maintenance it needs.
You see, during this busy season of life, you need to set priorities, and your top priorities must be God, your spouse, and your kids. In that order. What you can fit in after that is up to you and your spouse. There will be plenty of time for some of those other activities in your other seasons of life. You can go to school later, but your child won’t be a toddler bouncing on your knee for very long. Remember: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Portions of this article were adapted from "The Great Marriage Q&A Book," Copyright 2006 by Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg, all rights reserved. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., www.tyndale.com. To order this resource or to find our more about Dr. Gary and Barb – Your Marriage Coaches, visit www.drgaryandbarb.com or call 1-888-608-COACH.
Married over 30 years, the parents of two adult daughters and five grandchildren, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg, your marriage coaches, have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touch people of all ages. Together with Gary's 25,000 hours of counseling experience and Barbara's gift of encouragement and biblical teaching, they are equipping thousands of families across the nation through their interactive daily radio program, conferences, and marriage and family.
[i] Silene Gordon, “Finding the balance between work and home: Seminar in Sandwich,” The Upper Cape Codder (23 Jan 2007): http://www.townonline.com/bourne/homepage/8998984216989401087
[ii] I’LL DO IT! LLC Corporate & Personal Concierge Services “Work/Life Balance Statistics,” http://www.illdoit.biz/index.html
[iii] Lauren Picker, “And Now, The Hard Part,” Newsweek (25 April 2005): 46-48
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