Working Too Much Made Me Lazy
I was a lazy father. I am not talking about work life (although I used to be lazy at that as well). For 3 years I worked 70-80 hours per week. I once worked 4 weeks in a row of 18 hours per day and 10 hours on Saturday (with Sundays off of course). For you math whizzes that is 100 hours per week. I was definitely not lazy when it came to providing financially for my kids. But working that much made me very tired (Duh). Too tired to be a good father or husband, so in essence working too much made me a lazy father. Huh? Well it caused me to be lazy in discipline; lazy in family devotions; lazy in one on one time with the kids. Working too much caused me to be lazy in what really matters.
The ironic thing is that being lazy in these things is sin…but so is not providing financially. So, I worked too much because I thought that was what God wanted. Yet in doing so I was sinning against God (and my kids) but stretching myself far too thin. So take it from me, as the heads of our homes, we have to check our priorities. Don’t go racking up the credit cards like I did in my youth, or the line of credit to get the big vacation or pay for an extravagant wedding, or remortgaging your home for unnecessary renovations on the house, or for frivolous vacations, or a new car or a trailer or that LED TV, or that new gaming system, or (insert what you really want but do not need here)- thinking that it is ok, I can pay it off by working more. Sure, you can but at what cost? You just put “things” above your family. You just put “things” above God. That is idolatry.
Whoa, time to switch gears.
Even though I have checked my priorities and I think I have them right now, I still have to make sure that I am not being a lazy father. I only work 40ish hours per week now. But now I am also more active in the community and in the Church. This can take up a few hours. Plus this blog, each entry usually takes 1-2 hours to create. I may speak in wisdom (or not – I am just a blogger after all!), but my kids don’t read this blog and they need my wisdom more than you do! All they get is to see is how I live my life, and what I teach them. So those of us who “proclaim wisdom” must be aware and constantly living in humble prayer to ensure that the “wisdom” we proclaim is not eclipsed by the size of the foolish hypocrisy in our lives. This is especially important for those men who are in positions of authority in the church: Pastors, Elders, and Deacons. Proverbs 26:7 sends a big warning to all men who proclaim wisdom, from pastors, elders and deacons to the everyday dad…
“Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.”
A wise dad does not just spout off biblical truths; daddy wisdom is also how much your words line up with your actions. Do you tell your kids not to smoke, yet smoke yourselves? Do you tell your kids not to drink yet get drunk yourselves? Do you tell your kids not to engage in premarital sex, yet engage in pornography when no one is looking? Foolishness! I have spoken with a couple dads on these things. When I mention their kids, they simply say things such as, “Don’t do what I do, do what I say.” Sadly, with this foolish attitude all your kids will hear is… “I’m a hypocrite…” The book of Proverbs tells us that these dads speak with no authority; they are “lame men.”
You want your kids to obey you. Right? I wanted my kids to obey me. …yet I was not obeying God. Ironic isn’t it? Lazy dads (who may not realize they are being lazy) want kids who will listen to them, yet they don’t listen to their heavenly father. And sadly, men who are lazy dads will likely have kids that will grow up ignoring them or mocking them as hypocrites. Or worse, they will leave the church, and turn their backs on the promises of God.
So we have to stop being “lame men” as the book of Proverbs describes. Turn to Christ and focus on him, and his strength, and in Him we will cease to be lame. Our wisdom, will be real wisdom when we are focused on Him, and our priorities are in the right place. Because it will be His wisdom – not ours. Walk the walk, and walk the talk. Don’t just talk it.
Disclaimer…Now I have to say, I am not discouraging working! Just find some balance, and don’t let your family suffer because you work too much.