[FATHERHOOD] For vs. With: Getting Our Priorities Straight

As a dad, I have found that one of the greatest temptations is to provide FOR my family at the expense of time WITH them.

It is so easy to do. Especially if this was modeled to us by our own father.

As men, we have a tendency to connect our identity with such things as our income, our career, our financial status, and our material possessions.

And so we work… and work… and work.

I once had a high-stress, high-responsibility job where my ongoing intention was to “make it up to my family” by spending time with them at night, on the weekends, and on vacations.

But I was often exhausted from long days at the office with its accompanying pressures and stress.

The result was that my family really didn’t get much of their dad — even when he was physically present.

Either I had to make changes, or else I would lose my family.

Children who don’t get time with their dad inevitably look to other people and ways to find meaning, identity, love, and validation. And slowly but surely, their hearts turn away from their dad — one day at a time.

The same is true for our wives.

This is a reality some dads never discover, or else not before significant relational damage is done.

Ultimately we have to ask ourselves: Which is more important, my work or my family?

The, let me encourage you to always be very conscious of this temptation of providing FOR your family at the expense of time WITH them.  You are irreplaceable to your family. They love you and need you — every day.

Remember — it is the little, daily choices we make that will make the difference.

Image credit:www.flickr.com/photos/redvers/CC-BY

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