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No Success in the World, Makes Up for Failure in the Home
Bible study on the home.

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 important enough."

Some people don't have time for church but have time for fishing. What's the problem? Fishing is more important than church.

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 family.

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 and suicide.

In June of 2002, "USA Today Snapshots," USA Today, published results of children who have involved fathers. The children are:

  • 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.