Career aspirations and husband duties. Balance. That’s a hard concept. We are taught to work hard. My example started early with both parents. A truck driver and a school librarian didn’t make much.
Isaiah 43:19 — “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
My job is in insurance sales. I travel for two days a week. It’s a job that allows me to pick my schedule. When I am home, there are few demands placed on me by the employment. When I am gone, I am out of town. We have qualified for trips all over the place. It’s a great benefit. Sometimes you trade time away from your family while you work to take care of your family. There is a tension there.
My great idea once was that I should become a realtor so I could make money “on the side.” I felt like I was not working hard enough because I was off quite a bit. Imagine. I thought this is what God meant – “I am taking you to a new job.” So I took my test, got my license, and went to work. I still went on the road, but I was convinced I would end up giving that up.
I understood I was making a trade. I knew the transition would not be smooth, but I was willing. Most weeks between the two jobs, I was cranking out 100 hour weeks. I knew I was missing a lot, but I thought I was on the right track. We ended up qualifying for a trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. If it’s not on your bucket list – add it. Stunning.
I was looking forward to the break. I could feel myself getting more and more tired. But I kept thinking about that verse. I even took to writing it down every day to remind me. I think it was the second day there we found chairs at a little outdoor café at the hotel. We watched the water. I just sat there. Mary looked at me and said, “Do you want to know how much you’re missing?” If your wife has never asked you that let me tell you its more than a question. I was missing the very family I was trying to take care of financially.
I told her I thought I was grinding it out for the right reasons. But, maybe, I had misinterpreted God’s meaning for me in that verse. She proceeded to tell me that she had been praying for a year and a half using the same scripture. However, her prayer was that I could see that the path we had been on was right. Huh?
I remember asking her why it took her so long to say something. She said, “you weren’t ready to hear it.” It is one of my favorite stories about her. For 18 months, she stayed the course. We talked a lot, sitting there staring at the water.
Balance Between Work and Husband Duties
When we got back to Hays, I moved my office back to my house. It took 18 months, but since then, the real estate has stayed “on the side” like it was meant to be. God has still used it. But it had taken over my life, and I needed to fix it. The funny thing about balance—I have never recognized it when I don’t have it. I only see it when I look backward. God led me to it to take it away from me so I would learn a lesson I will hopefully never have to re-learn.
Author: Rick Claiborn
For more reading materials on When Career Aspirations Overtake Husband Duties, see below:
- God, Family, Career – Designating Faithful Priorities
- Don’t Find Your Identity In Your Work
- How Can I Find My Identity?