I heard a doctor say he was failing as a father. He confessed
to being a workaholic who didn't have a relationship with
his children. He was ashamed his children weren't a priority
in his life, and that he really didn't know them.
Then he made this observation, "No success in the world,
makes up for failure in the home."
Careers Are Important
It's important to work. Paul says, "For even when we were
with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not
willing to work, then he is not to eat, either" (2 Th. 3:10).
God wants us to work hard, as for the Lord. "Whatever
you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than
for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the
reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you
serve" (Col. 3:23-24).
Your career is important, even commanded by God. But,
it must be properly prioritized within your whole life,
or you'll fail as a Christian.
To love "God with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and
your neighbor as yourself" is to properly prioritize every
aspect of life (Lk. 10:27).
For example, a person can spend so much time studying
the Bible he neglects his family and loses his children
to the world, which would be just as wrong as never studying
the Bible. But when we put the proper emphasis on studying
the Bible and our family, balancing all our responsibilities
regarding both, we succeed in both respects as Christians.
The Balancing Act
How can we balance our priorities as a Christian?
It's hard to balance all our responsibilities. But when
we make God the first priority in our life, all our priorities
fall into place, since serving God touches every aspect
of life (Ec. 12:13).
We get into trouble, though, by trying to live as a Christian
while trying to be like our friends and neighbors in the
world. For example, two people on the same income can't
have the same lifestyle if one is a Christian. The Christian's
priorities regarding time, energy, and finances are different.
As Christians, we are different from people in the world.
Paul says, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for
what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or
what fellowship has light with darkness?" "Therefore, come
out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. And
do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you" (2
Cor. 6:14, 17).
What is the secret to successfully balancing priorities?
Put God first in everything!
I Don't Have Time
I try to never offer the excuse, "I don't have time." It's
a rather lame excuse for laziness or misallocation of time,
in my opinion.
The fact is, people make time to do whatever is important
to them. To say "I don't have time" is to say, "It's not
Some people don't have time for church but have time for
fishing. What's the problem? Fishing is more important than
Other people have time for prestigious careers and long
vacations, but don't have time to be a godly parent. What's
the problem? Careers and vacations are more important than
I've learned over the years to ask questions, when people
want me to validate their behavior, or the behavior of a
loved one. For example, when someone is habitually sick
and not at church, I want to know about the things they
did last week go to work, go to the store, go to the doctor,
go out to eat. What's the point? If church was as important
as the other things they managed to do, they'd be at church.
Family Takes Time
Like everything else in life, it takes time to be a godly
father, mother, son, daughter, etc.
Sadly, many parents aren't willing to invest the time
required to have a godly family, and raise their children
as God commands.
American Family Physician, in 2004, published an article
titled, "Are Family Meals Good for the Health of Adolescents?"
In it, researchers disclosed that adolescents who ate more
meals with their family suffered significantly lower rates
of cigarette, alcohol, and drug abuse; they enjoyed higher
grade point averages; and they struggled less with depression
In June of 2002, "USA Today Snapshots," USA Today, published
results of children who have involved fathers. The children
- More confident and less anxious in unfamiliar settings.
- Better able to deal with frustration.
- Better able to gain a sense of independence.
- More likely to become compassionate adults.
- More likely to have higher self-esteem.
- More likely to have higher grade-point averages.
- More sociable.
No success in the world, makes up for failure in the home!
As a faithful Christian, God is first in your life, and
you're investing the time and energy your family needs to
be what God desires.