What profits a person from gaining the world and losing their spouse? Ok, that’s not the scripture.
I was in Dallas last week, facilitating a cybersecurity leadership panel. I asked the panelist about the challenges of providing for their families and balancing the demands of work-related obligations. One told the story of a retirement party he attended for an executive with over 30+ years in business. “What’s next for you now that you’re retiring? asked a panelist.” He responded, “I’ll have to see if my wife still loves me.” He noted a seriousness in his voice.
People who know me know I run hard. I had to learn to run hard for my family (and I’m still learning). Life after 50, college tuition coming, shaky savings, bad investments, economic turndowns, you name it, the saints have experienced it. While running hard, forgetting our family and relationship with JAH (God) is easy. I have to remind myself that He is the Provider. I then battle with Adam’s punishment, being condemned to work by the sweat of his brow. I wrestle with being worse than an infidel for not caring for my family. All those “I’s” must be replaced daily with “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” That leads to the role of the Lord as Shepherd and how He cares for us.
I recall some of the most powerful words from my daughter when I was called upon to do something that would take me away from my family. “Just call Tony Briscoe because he’ll say yes no matter what his family needs.” Talk about a blow to my heart. I was present for others but not for the one who needed me the most. So, pray for me because it’s time to check-in, and I have to ask what I can do better as a father. What about being a better husband? Hey, one step at a time, ok? 🙂
- I have made more games than I missed
- I will not neglect my family for work
- I know what it means to be a provider, my child taught me what it means to be present
Life won’t stop happening. The panelist vowed on the day of his interaction with the retiree, “I will never let my wife or children suffer by me not being present.” May we also be direct, working wife and/or working husband, working wife and husband, vowing never to forget our families. We must lean on the Lord, from whom all blessings flow, to help put the right people in our lives to help us with our financial planning, child-rearing (it still takes a village), professional and personal development, and our Christian walk.