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Want more than work-life balance? See what Jesus did

By April 10, 2024April 12th, 2024No Comments

Relationships impact your life and work.

When I first started in the business world, I felt obligated to keep my work and personal life separate. As a mom, I struggled daily even though my kids were school-aged. Back in the day, most businesses didn’t offer flexible work hours. You were expected to be in the office every day from “eight to five.”

  • What do you do when your kids are sick?
  • How do you handle doctor, dental, and ophthalmology appointments that always come during the day?
  • Who runs to school when the office calls because your kid is hurt?
  • How do you support your kids at their weekday after-school events?
  • If you are a caregiver for a parent, how does your work fit into those care needs?

Often, I felt guilty for prioritizing my children and family over my work.

Yet, when I look at my life priorities, work isn’t at the top. I worked hard while on the job, but I never neglected my personal responsibilities.

During the first year of our recovery from porn addiction and suicidal depression, my work thankfully allowed me flexibility for counseling sessions. I’m forever grateful for my supervisors who cared about my total well-being. I still had deadlines to meet, but their support helped me navigate through this difficult time.

The mental, emotional, and spiritual toll this crisis took impacted my work performance. To demand that an employee “turn off” the struggles when they enter the workplace isn’t realistic.

Human beings are holistic.

God intentionally designed us to be relational. So many women I talk with mention mental fog, deep sadness, exhaustion, and more after discovering their husband’s struggles with porn. They tell me that what used to be a simple task at work now overwhelms them. Prior to this discovery, they felt capable and organized; now, they do well to get to work on time. Holding a simple, well-thought-out conversation takes extreme effort.

These women aren’t alone.

To my way of thinking, creating a work-life balance isn’t possible.

Balance suggests that you can do everything simultaneously with equal prowess, but that’s not true.

When you need to learn a new skill, you invest hundreds of hours learning that skill, neglecting other opportunities. You are out of balance.

When you deal with an illness, you often cut back on other aspects of your life to get the necessary sleep and nutrition that allows your body to heal. You are out of balance.

In the New Testament, study how Jesus managed his work-life balance. Here are a few observations.

  • While the disciples vied for the highest position among his followers, Jesus fed thousands.
  • People swarmed after Jesus, but he took time to pray and commune with his father first.
  • Those who didn’t understand him or like what he did shouted insults at Jesus. He quietly followed one man to his home to heal his daughter without anyone around.
  • Jesus focused on teaching a few and then sent them out to serve others.
  • Jesus saw the woman everyone else ignored. He gave her back her identity as a daughter as well as physically healed her.
  • Jesus honored his mother and provided for her care.
  • Jesus saw the marginalized and invited them into a relationship with him.

Jesus lived intentionally.

But I don’t see a work-life balance. He had little sleep at times. Jesus told us he didn’t have a place to lay his head and rest when the disciples said they’d follow him anywhere.

If the recent pandemic helped anything, it challenged the corporate status quo about work-life balance. Companies previously unwilling to change their cultures were forced to adapt or go out of business. “The Great Resignation” brought up issues of working hours, competitive pay, and respect in the workplace—a trend that had been building for several years prior to the pandemic.

Rather than worrying about work-life balance, try living intentionally by following Jesus’ example.

As my pastor often says, “See where God is working in your life and join him in that work.” Ask God to guide your thoughts, words, and actions today.

Are you dealing with betrayal issues in your marriage?

Please reach out. I promise to listen well without judgment, hold your heart carefully, and walk with you to your place of wholeness. You aren’t alone. You can breathe again and become stronger, vibrant, and confident.

  • Kirsten D Samuel

    I empower Christian wives to discover they are seen, loved, and heard. These women find the freedom to be who they are beyond their partner’s struggles, and find hope that there is a life worth living.