Priorities in a Healthy Work-Life Balance

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Most of us work eight hours a day, five days a week, twenty-two days a month, two hundred and sixty days a year. Which equates to 2,080 hours a year spent at work. And that doesn’t include the commute or lunch.

In other words, we’ll spend most of our waking hours at work. This means we need to capitalize on the time we do have with our families.

So, let’s discuss some things you can do with, and for your family.

Setting Boundaries for a Healthy Work-Life Balance

As the provider for your family, you might believe that your primary responsibility is to go to work. Trust me, I used to think the same way. But I was wrong.

Back in 2006, I was working over 80 hours a week. I spent enough time at home to eat, sleep, and take a shower before heading back to work. And I thought I was doing what I was supposed to be doing for my family.

At the time, I didn’t realize that I was turning into my father. He worked three jobs (two full-time and one part-time) during my impressionable years.

How many of us grew up with fathers who worked from sun up ‘til sun down? And how many of us wanted to grow up to be like them?

 That was the model that was set for us.

Did you ever realize that when you spend all your time with “colleagues” at work, you forfeit the time with your wife and kids? They’re the ones who really need you.

There has to be a balance. If you work for an organization that doesn’t care about your family life, it’s time to reconsider working for them.

Your primary responsibility is to your family, not your employer.

Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

God should take priority, then your wife, then your kids, and then everyone else. If you’re putting your employer first, then you’re doing a disservice to God and your family.

Thriving at Work and Home

Because most of your time is spent at work, make sure that you’re putting in your best effort. Why spend most of your life doing something any other way?

Yes, you need a paycheck to provide for your family. Along with benefits. It’s great to see men willing to stand up and put in the effort for their families. Just remember, they need you too.

As a result of getting home exhausted from a long day at work, do you intentionally/unintentionally neglect your family? Where’s the work-life balance in that?

Regardless of how tired you are, your family needs you more than your employer does. And if you don’t think you have the energy, muster it up. Think of it as working unto the Lord (as Colossians 3 tells us).

Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

If you need time to unwind when you get home, let them know that. But then pour into them as much if not more than you did at work.

Remember, they’ll be there long after your career if you take care of them.

Choosing Family Over Career

When deciding on a healthy work-life balance, choose family over career. Too often, couples break up because they just lost sight of why they got together in the first place.

We lose sight when we take our eyes off the prize.

Let’s not forget, you and your wife chose each other. Out of all the “fish in the sea,” you decided to be together. And together, you decided to bring children into the world.

Perhaps you need to speak with your employer and let them know that your family needs to take a higher priority.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

Someone else will raise your kids if you choose to spend all of your time with your work instead of your family.

Knowing the sacrifice, I asked my wife to stay home to raise our kids rather than to allow the indoctrination centers (aka the public school system) to.

I proposed to work one job and we would live off of whatever income that provided. If we had to downsize our lives, then so be it.

Having my wife stay home to raise our kids was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Yes, it’s been very difficult at times. However, one can’t put a price on the benefits of homeschooling.

Not only were we able to choose the curriculum, but we’ve been able to help our children grow into the wonderful young adults they are today.

We didn’t have to worry about a woke teacher (or school system) trying to indoctrinate our kids. Or having to unteach what they “learned” at school.

My wife spends her day with our kids and then I reinforce what they learned at night. And by being their teachers, we’re able to ensure that what they learn lines up with the Bible and our beliefs.

Practical Tips for Busy Couples

For those who’ve chosen a lifestyle that requires both of you to work, there are some things you can do to help your marriage and your parenting.

First, as mentioned above, your family has to be made your priority (after God but before work). If you’re going to choose work, friends, or hobbies over your family, then it won’t work.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to work, have friends, or hobbies. It just means you can’t allow them to become the main priority over God and your family.

Some things you can do to help ensure your family knows they’re your priority, include scheduling regular family:

  • Game nights.
  • Outings.
  • Spending time together.

For your wife, make sure to have time together. Whether it’s snuggled up on the couch watching a show/movie, having regular date nights, going dancing, or simply taking a walk together.

Regardless of your schedule, you have to make the effort and make the time.

Someone can’t be a great musician without regularly playing their instrument of choice. In the same way, you can’t have a great marriage if you only spend time on it whenever you “feel” like it (or “have the time”).

To ensure a work-life balance, we must resolve to be the husband and father our families need us to be.

If you found value in this article, consider reading Embracing Being a Christian Husband and Father in 2024.

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