The past two weeks have found me mostly at home. I have had some time off from work, welcoming Evan into our family. My time here has revealed many truths to me. Without the daily obligations to an employer or an otherwise strict schedule set by external pressures, I have been able to see life in its most ideal setting(s).
I believe we were built to live in service to one another, and to our families. Somewhere in the past (historians on the subject speculate the Industrial Revolution), our society and our families got sidetracked. Nowadays, we spend 8-10 hours a day away from our homes earning money in an attempt to create a better life for the people we love.
I don't understand it. How can we possibly hope to do right by our children, while we walk away from them for the better part of the day, everyday?
Survey after survey on this topic, across people of all earning categories, reveals the same thing.
Time away from the workplace, time to be at home with family, vacation time, is more important to people than what the paycheck looks like every week. This is often compounded by the fact that 1/3 of your earnings never make it to you or your family to begin with. That adds up to almost two days out of every five that you work....you receive little to no compensation for.
Meanwhile, your child is being raised or educated by a stranger. Meanwhile, your friend needs your help. Meanwhile, your spouse is required to make difficult decisions without you to lean on.
Our priorities as parents, as members of a family, need to shift if we are to raise up a great family. We need to decide where our time is best spent and where we are being rewarded the most for our efforts. Decide what your child, your family needs most. Is it more money? Is it the things that money can provide?
I believe that our children need a father and a mother more than anything else. I do not believe that this concept ends once your kid turns a magic age, 18 or 21. You will always be someone's son or daughter. The past two weeks have taught me that as well. I'm 35 years old, I have two children and I have been married for almost 13 years.
I need my parents now more than ever.
Real community can only be achieved when families remain intact. Real community can only be fostered when marriages and home life are valued above all else. We need to set aside all other pursuits, sound as they may seem, and adjust the pecking order of our lives. If striving for anything, money, affection, influence, is getting in the way of your life at home, it will ultimately produce a negative result. For all things in life there is a cause and effect. You cannot rob from Peter to pay Paul forever. Sooner or later Paul gets pissed and has an affair. Paul starts to drink. Paul takes on a second job to pay for the alimony and the step-kids in his new marriage, as well as the kids he only sees once a month now.
I'm just sayin'..... How do you perfect any behavior? You keep working on it over and over.
If you want to be a professional athlete, you practice constantly. If you want to be a better carpenter, you hone your craft in the shop on a daily basis. Well, if you want to be a better parent, son, daughter, husband, shouldn't you work on that constantly? Shouldn't a significant portion of your energy be placed into learning all you can about the people you reside with?
What would benefit the world more...a society filled with great mothers, aunts and uncles? Or a society of the best computer programmers, lawyers and secretaries known to man?