Q: My husband and I own a business. He has a big heart, does everything and anything to please his customers. He doesn’t know where to draw the line and then the children and I rarely see him. When he does come home he is too tired to pay attention to any of us. How can I help him see the importance of family?
A: It is apparent that your husband is dedicated to making people happy and I am sure there are times when you wish you were his customer and not his wife. He may think that the better business person he is, the more he is able to financially care for his family and not realize that what you need from him is quality time. Balance is the key word in this situation.
Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. (NIV Job 31:6) –
Most of those who worship God recognize that in terms of priorities, God is first, family second and career third. All three, though, need attention. If I could ask him questions it would be: How are you glorifying God in your work? Have you asked God how you should schedule your day to give you ample time for both work and family? Are these hours are in or out of balance?
Your question seems to indicate that there is an inequality between your husband’s attention to business and to his family. Perhaps a change in business hours would give him more time at home with the family. For example, if the business is currently open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and overtime needs keep him there until 7:30 pm, a change of hours to 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. would get him home an hour earlier at 6:30 p.m.
Your husband may not realize his customers have the ability to respect and understand that his family is waiting for him to come home and that he has already stayed 1 1/2 hours after closing.
Does this sound absurd? When I was taking classes in real estate marketing, the speaker told us of a Realtor who only worked days, no nights and weekends. She advertised that, and her business boomed. People related to her commitment to family.
Everyone should have an appointment planner. Time with God is an appointment, so is time with family, friends and even quiet time alone. Be sure to have a date night every week. If it needs to be postponed, that should be the exception and not the rule. Spending time with the children is also an appointment.
It is also important to delegate work and not think you are the only one capable of completing various tasks. God gave us all abilities and as a business owner you can pray for wisdom and discernment as to who can manage each situation. Moses, too, thought he needed to lead and judge every scenario, but his father-in-law told him a better way.
NIV- EX 18:14-22 tells the story this way:
When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”
Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”
Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
Every business is truly God’s business. A woman I know always seemed very happy. Her husband owned three companies and I asked her how she managed to have such joy in her marriage. She told me that her husband did work long hours, but when he came home he gave 100 percent of himself to the family.
A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. (KJV – Prov. 11:1)
Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity. (Job 31:6)