Work – life balance

This is an outta-whack week for me. My work schedule is packed, I’ve got two meetings at a nonprofit organization that I work with, and I’ve got three different church meetings/events that I need to be at. A few weeks of this is okay, but if I was this busy for an extended period, I’d certainly have to cut back on the important things (like blogging).

Maintaining a work-life balance is exceptionally important. This is particularly true in new marriages or when you’ve got kids at home that (despite their seemingly complex needs) rely so heavily on quality time with their folks for their development. Back in ancient Israel, new husbands got quite a gift from the Lord in the form of this piece of Hebraic law.

“If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” (Deut 24:5)

While most employers don’t seem to be particularly interested in honoring this little bit of scripture, most do have a heightened awareness of the high burnout rates among workaholics and the costly toll that can create for an organization. If, like me, you occasionally struggle with striking the right balance, check out this good resource that I found from the Mayo Clinic. It’s quite good, although it dances around the one key thing that we sometimes must do – standing firm and telling an employer “no” when work demands begin to seriously compromise our family lives or our ability to take a Sabbath.

A resume of three strands

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“The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.” – Psalm 37:30

As you can probably tell from most of my posts, I think a lot about God’s role in our work lives. But what I don’t write about as much is the other secret weapon in my career arsenal – my wife. She’s my partner in life and my personal career counselor.

“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:10-12)

The old saying, “behind every good man is a good woman” is certainly true in my case. My work issues, aspirations, frustrations, and celebrations all get communicated to my wife on a daily basis, and I couldn’t be happier that I have her as my chief adviser. She’s never worked a day in the corporate workplace, yet she listens well and gives wise counsel. She always directs me back to what is Godly and her wisdom has made me much more successful on many levels.

One of the verses that we chose for our wedding years ago was Ecc 4:10, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” We chose it as a reminder that a relationship with Christ at the center endures, and that’s of incredible value on those days when you’re hanging by a string at work!