Teach your men what it means to lead a balanced life. Personally, I like it best when I am "busy and balanced." It’s a fine line. What can we tell men about the look of a balanced life, and how to achieve one?
At the 50th wedding anniversary party of a friend, the 40 to 50 guests were a) his happy wife, b) his children (some of whom flew in), c) his pastor who thought enough of him to comment on his life, and d) about 40 friends. In his case, no one from the office. And he was very happy.
Tell your men these few things. You no doubt can think of more.
- No amount of success at work will ever be adequate to compensate for failure at home.
- After God, but before all others, make your mate your top priority. Spend time together alone, touch her, listen to her, be faithful to her, encourage her with words, take care of her financially, laugh together, and be her best friend.
- Invest in your children with time, prayer, and encouraging words like, "I love you," and "I’m proud of you." Older men swear there’s no pain like child pain. If your children end up doing well, all of your other problems will fit into a thimble.
- Most men compartmentalize their family, but not their work. In other words, they think about their work when they’re with their families, but not their families while they’re at work. Tell men to put a time and mental boundary up around their work. For example, they could declare, "I will not work after 6:00 p.m." One man promised to take his wife out to dinner every time he broke the rule.
- Let Jesus be your highest and best thought in every situation. Pray about everything. For example, every time you make a phone call, say a silent prayer for 5 seconds as you pick up the receiver. There are many other ways you can pray. Jesus will help you lead a balanced life if you’re in constant communication.
Help your men discover that a happy wife, children who still want to be around them, a pastor who would be willing to say something nice about them, and about 40 friends would be a great achievement. What more can a man really want?
Yours for balanced lives,
Patrick Morley, Ph.D.
Man in the Mirror