Money, Family, or Both?
Is it possible that we may be working so hard to support our families financially that we end up losing our families? Then money becomes empty compensation. This week we’ll talk about the issue of money and marriage.
What is most important in life? If we are given stark choices, the issue becomes clear. If someone offered you one million dollars for your child or your spouse, would you take it? Any sensible parent or spouse would say, “No”. But do we not sell our families for much less when we spend all of our energy working for money and have no time left to enjoy our relationships?
The Key is Balance
Work is a noble endeavor. In fact the Bible says that if a man will not work, neither should he eat. But can we work too much? Is vocational success worth losing a marriage? The Scriptures teach that life’s meaning is not found in things, but in relationships. It is found first in a relationship with God, and then with family and others.
Family relationships are always in process. If we want to keep our marriages alive, our families healthy, then we must find ways of balancing work and family. Thousands of men and women are finding that a growing marriage and a healthy family requires readjusting schedules from time to time. The key question is, “How does my work affect my marriage and family?” Once I answer that question, I will know if I need to change my work patterns.
Integration & Time Management
The answer is not always less work. Sometimes it is integrating the family into my work. For example, does your work allow the opportunity for you and your spouse to have lunch together from time to time? Such lunches can be an oasis in the midst of a dry day.
If your work requires travel, could you take your spouse or one of your children with you? This allows a mini-vacation which you might not otherwise be able to afford. It also exposes your family to your vocation and gives them a little more appreciation for what you do.
Less work and more time at home is not necessarily the answer. Better use of time at home may make all the difference. Do something different tonight with your spouse or with a child. Get out of the routine. Minimize the television and maximize activity and conversation. Keep your marriage alive and growing.