Being successful is sometimes a costly attribute of our lives if we are not careful. A successful career, a successful business even a successful family can require a great deal of our time and energy. Because we have only so much strength, time and energy we can only do so much.
Jesus said, Luke 14:28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (NIV) This makes good sense doesn't it? But money isn't the only thing that you have to count. What about our time with our family or spouse? What about our emotional investment into our children's development or our spouses emotional needs. If you are going to be successful so you can provide for your families needs, have you taken to account all of their needs? Have you considered the most important needs that they require?
What are you willing to give up and what are you willing not to sacrifice? Here are a few things you need to consider.
- Are you willing to give up being the spiritual leader of your home? Your children will follow in your foot steps. So if God isn't important to you now, He will not be important to them later.
- Build a health marriage and reap a healthy family. But don't think that you can have a healthy family without a healthy marriage. God created the two to work together. I see to many parents who invest everything into their children and nothing into their marriage. Their children will grow up with the ability to sustain a stable marriage in their own lives and will repeat the same mistake.
- Quality time is necessary, but it isn't exclusive of quantity. I hear spouses and parents say that they can't give a lot of time, but what they give is quality. I'll use an old adage that says, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder or causes the heart to wander." Those of us who understand this adage can tell you that you will be replaced by someone who will give the time that you give up.
- I supply the best so my family doesn't go without. Nice, but really you need to think this thru. I'm not against anyone have nice things or having the opportunity of having the best experiences life has to offer. But this philosophy needs to be tempered with a couple of things. We don't supply our families needs. God does. Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (NIV) Then you have to ask yourself the question, does my family really need everything that I want to give them. When spouses or parents use giving to replace feelings or to mask guilt - all you create is an atmosphere that spawns manipulation. (Make mommy or daddy feel bad and they will give me what ever I ask for.) You might feel better about what you have given them for a while, but each time you will have to give something bigger and better in order to hide your guilt from yourself. Eventually you will not be able to afford to keep this habit up and then it will be too late to recapture what you have lost.
So what do you do?
- Forgive yourself. If you don't do this, you are doomed to repeat your mistakes again and again.
- Seek wisdom. Find people who use to seek the success you crave, but quit. Ask them why they did it and what their life has been like sense. Talk to people who say that giving up their need for success was worth saving their marriage and family.
- Ask yourself hard questions. Why do you want to be successful? Really? Were you using your marriage and family as an excuse to feed your own ego?
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you direction. James 1:5-6 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.