By Jeff S. Bray
We wear many hats on a day-to-day basis. We are husbands, fathers, and employees. We also have our churches and our personal relationship with God. We evaluate and then sacrifice the things we feel are not that important for what we deem as priorities. Then we end up frustrated when little gets done, asking ourselves, How do I juggle all of this?
We Are Employees
Our jobs are where we spend most of our time, from a third to half of our day. When we get home, we’re spent. Whether you stock shelves, sit at a desk, or drive a truck for a living, all your energy is depleted by the time you kick off your shoes and sit on the couch.
Yet God has commanded us to work. We are to labor by the sweat of our brows to provide for the family he has given us. And we are to do it with a smile. It’s complicated if we have a difficult boss or coworkers. Either way, we need to reflect Christ to those we work with.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23, 24).
We Are Husbands
Whether you’ve been married 50 years, 20 years, or you’re just getting started, you should understand the importance of being a good husband. Spending time with your wife is an integral part of marriage. In The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman lists quality time as a priority. He says, “By ‘quality time,’ I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together. When you spend time that way, Netflix or HBO has your attention—not your spouse. What I mean is sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other and talking, devices put away, giving each other your undivided attention. It means taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other and talking.”
Do we give our wives undivided attention? Or are they background noise to the game on TV?
“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:28).
We Are Fathers
Children are time consuming, constantly in need. But there is nothing we wouldn’t do for them. We will bend over backwards to make sure they have it better than we did growing up. But are we sacrificing a relationship for security?
Spending time with children can be difficult for busy parents. But it’s important to find time to do things together. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Go to the beach or just have a barbecue at home. Talk to your kids, find out about their day, their dreams, their aspirations.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
We Are Church Members
Most of us have a connection with a church. Regardless of your level of involvement, you have something to give to others. Fellowship with other believers is essential. Men who can talk with other men about similar struggles give and receive encouragement from their experiences.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24, 25).
We Have a Calling
God has a specific purpose for everyone. You may find your calling in the job you are doing now. If that’s the case, work at it with all your heart. But if you feel your calling is outside of your job, look for ways to invest some of your time in what matters most to you and to God. For me, I feel God has called me to write. What about you? What is God directing you to do for him with your life?
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
We Are Men of God
Being true to our calling and serving well as employees, husbands, and church members can leave us feeling spread thin.
Where does God fit in this picture? We go to work. We interact with our wives and children. We worship and serve in our churches and are engaged in areas of our calling, but we can’t physically see or touch God. Here is where we must guard against the adage, “out of sight; out of mind.” A personal relationship with God is vital to everything we do.
We need to commit ourselves daily to the Word of God and to prayer. Seek his direction. Like the giving of a tithe, if we put it off until the end, there will never be enough. If we don’t begin with God, there will never be enough time in our day to spend with him. It doesn’t take much to start—perhaps just 15 minutes. One less snooze button. Take the time to seek him. Your effort will be blessed.
“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3).
Tying it All Together
I can be a good husband. God has given me instruction. I can be a good father. God has left me an example. I can be a good church member because of the family of believers that challenges me. I can be a good employee when I remember I’m working for God. I can be the man that God desires me to be when I put him first. Begin my day with him. End my day with him. I don’t have to juggle anything when I give it all to God. He shows me what to focus on. The minute I feel frustrated, I know that I’ve taken things back and I’m trying to juggle them on my own. Stop. Take a breath. Give it all back to him.
My life is filled with things to do. Does everything get done? No. I don’t spend the time with Carolyn that I want to, but we cherish the time we have. I don’t attend every function my kids are involved in, nor do I spend the time with them I would like to, but each beach trip is memorable. I’m not at every church service, but I maintain connection with those who will help encourage me. I’m not the greatest employee, but I put forth the effort and remember I am working for the Lord, not man. I’m able to accomplish all of it by putting the Lord first. I am a man of God before it all. I put God first and allow him to direct me. I juggle it all by not juggling at all.
Jeff S. Bray is an oilfield truck driver, husband, father of four, and servant of Jesus Christ in Charlotte, Texas.