By Jean-Paul & Suzanne Balmet, Contributing Writers
Read Part 1 of this series here.
How do you make your marriage be of first importance, a priority, above your work? Does your work define you? When you meet someone new, is your primary description of yourself what you do for a living?
We wear many hats as men. This is a blessing in many ways and it is also a challenge. How do you keep balance? We need to view life through the lens of being an ambassador for Christ all the time. How many hours per week do you work in your chosen profession? 40-50-60 hours? We are called to work and provide as 1 Timothy 5:8 says:
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
We do have the opportunity and responsibility to be employees and employers that understand that our sovereign Lord has placed us in our positions, and that we are to take our testimony seriously knowing that we are a reflection of Christ to lost co-workers, customers, and employers.
“Big Deal” Questions
- Has your job become an idol of the heart where you receive your greatest satisfaction, and you provide the highest level of commitment, at the expense of your walk in faith and your role as spiritual leader of your homes?
- How do you order and prioritize your time at work and your time and attention with your wife, kids and ministry you serve in?
Decades ago, my wife, Suzanne, quit her job to stay home and care for our children. Soon after, I moved from a salary position as Service Manager to a 100% commission sales job. Over the next 5 years, I built a great client base, made a great income, and created an environment where I believed I was indispensable to the success of my office and team. (Looking back, I clearly see I was way out of balance, but at the time I lacked focus on my maturity in Christ and wrongly thought that it was all about me providing for my family.) At my son’s 4th birthday party, by God’s grace, I began to wake up and see things for what they were. I had made my focus on being a great provider, but I was missing the mark in growing in my faith and love for Christ, and certainly not loving and leading my wife and kids as the Bible called me to.
A conversation at the party turned to me, Jason’s daddy, and Jason very quickly responded, “Daddy doesn’t live here, Daddy lives at work.” Although many laughed and thought this was funny, I was broken-hearted and fought back the tears of regret, and in repentance, I realized I was trusting in self and the temporary, not the Lord.
Psalm 20:7 – “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
I determined to cut back my hours, as I had been leaving the house every day around 6:00AM and getting home around 9:30PM, so I could spend time with Suzanne and our two boys before they went off to bed. Soon after, my mother-in-law asked Suzanne if I was working less and was home more and Suzanne responded, “Yes, how do you know?” She replied, “I can tell, the boys talk about Daddy now and they never used to.”
We have an awesome and patient and forgiving God that continues to shape me more and more to be conformed to Christ. I also have a loving and forgiving wife who has come along side me in my quest to lovingly lead our home and have us all grow in our family priority of glorifying God in all things.
As Vodie Baucham said in the book Family Shepherds, “Our careers exist to serve our families, not the other way around.” Our union is with our wives, not our jobs. Our desire should be for our wives to grow in faith, our children to be saved and for our family to pass this legacy to future generations and beyond.
Take the lead and do not be a passenger as your family bumps down the road of life.
Do it now! We need to be “all in” for Christ as He is our Head and be a man who sacrificially cares for our wives and trains up our kids.
Men, if we are to go the distance with our wives, we need to make sure we have the right mindset:
Proverbs 18:22 – “He who finds a wife finds a good thing,and obtains favor from the Lord.”
Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous wife?For her worth is far above rubies.”
Ask your wife about your spiritual leadership. Discuss plans on new things you both would like to implement in the home. We live busy lives, and if we allow it, they become too busy. Put on your family calendar family time to pray, read the Word, and play, or it probably won’t happen.