Some days, when I come home from work and my wife asks how I’m going, I say that I’m “still tired!” An honest day’s work takes a lot out of a guy, whether he’s digging a drainage ditch, or having to design a new business process. That is, whether our responsibilities – paid or unpaid – are physical, mental, or both; if we genuinely apply ourselves to our work, we’re usually spent at the end of the day.
Colossians 3:23 is a well-known verse, and one that can be used as an excuse for over-committing to our work. Working hard is not a sin, but we would do well to read the entire chapter, especially verses 15-25.
I know that I have made excuses, though. It’s easy to tell myself when I come home, that I deserve supper or I deserve to sit on the couch for a while. After all, I’m contributing to my family by earning money, and I did some good for my company, so shouldn’t I get a break? (Trust me, my wife is a patient woman, as I sort through these things.)
Jesus, however, didn’t use that excuse when He was needed. Read Mark 6:30-34. Even though Jesus and his apostles were too busy to even eat, and their “quiet time” was interrupted by people who were eager to see them, Jesus continued to serve. When we’re out of stamina, let’s remember to draw from the same source that Jesus must have – God the Father.
Still, it can be tough to be thrown a new problem (like a leaking pipe or a bag of trash needing to be emptied) when you get home. When you find yourself in that situation often, consider another option: Make your family a deal, and ask for some reasonable amount of “buffer time” when you get home. (Call it your “boat time”, using Mark 6 as an example.) Take your shoes off, change clothes, take a deep breath, and collect yourself. Then, after that, give your family some of the quality time that they seek – that they need – from you.
This won’t always be possible, but a structured transition is one way to help both you and them. When it doesn’t work out, ask God for a little extra fuel in your tank, and for the grace to get through until you have a chance to recharge. Remember our role model, Jesus Christ, and when you do have a few minutes of peace and quiet, read about how He lived for inspiration.
(See also, “Naps are Wasted on the Young”.)
A version of this devotion originally appeared at fcccanton.com , as a Study Guide for the March 8, 2015 message, “The Role of the Man in a Family”.