How Do I Find a Healthy Balance Between Work and Family?
By Garrick Conner
My wife and I love a good House Hunters episode on HGTV. It’s all about the granite countertops, home-theater rooms, his and hers closets, and the pool.
But as a family counselor, I assure you the most stately homes often harbor loneliness and heartache. More stuff means more bills. And more bills require more work.
Yet it’s not the size of the closets or the number of cars that determine our quality of life. It’s the time spent building relationships and investing in the things that matter most.
I was one of those who didn’t always have my priorities in order.
Far too often, I allowed the needs and issues of other people to dictate my time—to the detriment of my own family. But some intentional choices on my part could have proven helpful to my relationships with the ones I love most.
Here are a few tips for anyone trying to achieve healthy work/life balance:
Control your calendar. Don’t let it control you.
Prioritize your spouse and kids. That means putting their names on your calendar every single week.
They deserve your best. Not your leftovers.
Understand the difference between wants and needs.
You might want the big house, the new car, the fancy vacation that Facebook friend just posted about. But among other concerning aspects of this being a driving goal (see Colossians 3:1-3 for starters), if getting that means going into debt, then it’s probably not a choice that’s going to serve you well in the long run.
Focus on what matters most.
Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” These words of Jesus refer specifically to the importance of discerning between what is temporary and what is eternal.
Constantly reevaluate your life work/life balance.
Our priorities change with each season of life, and that’s OK. Keep evaluating your life and making choices consistent with your “important things,” and know God will help you figure it out.
The Good Stuff: Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Action Points: Take some time to honestly evaluate your work/life balance this week. What changes can you make to give your family a larger portion of your focus?
Visit the FamilyLife® Website