He got home after a long day, wiped out and ready to just relax a bit. When he walked in, his daughter asked for help with math homework, his son wanted to ride bikes with him through the park, his bride had a long day as well and was debating going to the store to get groceries or to make supper work with some leftovers. And the sink was still full of dishes from a gathering the night before. Balance or priorities?
One of the devil’s best lies is that men and women can balance work and home. Balance suggests there is something equal to a relationship with Jesus the Christ. Once he gets us to buy-in to that lie, the rest is easy – drive a wedge in the marriage relationship; let kids witness high levels of frustration and chaos in the home; and eventually have them experience a failed marriage and broken home. This is how the devil notches up his victories.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Matthew 22:37-39. Jesus says priority one is to love Him – “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is a call to a personal, passionate and growing relationship with Jesus the Christ. Priority two is to love your neighbor – your immediate neighbor is your wife. The call here is to live that personal, passionate and growing relationship with Christ in marriage. Priority three is to reflect that relationship in family and circles of influence. Priority four and beyond is everything else. There is no balancing Jesus’ presence in our lives with anything else. Prioritize Jesus personally; Confirm Him as the center strand in the cord of three that is marriage; and reflect love for Him 24/7 in the home He has blessed you with.
The dad prioritized the right stuff by loving his wife and family over himself – He encouraged his bride to go to the grocery store; he cleaned up the dishes in the sink; he helped his daughter get on track with her homework and he then went for a bike ride with his son – all before supper. A gut check for all dads – Would you find energy after a long day if a buddy drove in behind you in the driveway with tickets to a playoff game? Every night with our families should receive at least as much energy and enthusiasm we would have for a playoff game. Life is not about balance. Prioritize the right stuff by learning to love to a new level every day.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your commands, the Word that conveys expectation to Your standard. Too often I get caught up in self and expect all to bend to my needs. Forgive me Lord for being so soft and selfish. Grant me strength to follow Your example. You were given a will to obey, a woman to love and a work to do. You obeyed all the way to the point of death, even death on a cross; You loved the woman, the Church; and You completed the work to put death to sin. And I whine about a long day. Help me prioritize a relationship with You that will gird me in the manhood You lived – to think as You thought, to love as You loved and serve as You served. Amen.
A faithful father prioritizes Jesus personally, in marriage and in family.