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We are called to offer our strength to the world – to make an impact in a story larger than our own. And for some, we are also called to be a family man – to care deeply for our own.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

These dual callings often seem in conflict.

Focusing on our mission in the world generally means missing some family time. And focusing on our family typically requires us to give up certain opportunities that could advance our work.

Our tendency is to swing to one extreme or the other.

Focus on Mission

God has given us each a life assignment – a purpose that is ours to fulfill. We have a responsibility we cannot neglect without suffering the consequences.

And at times, our family will have to take the hit in order to accomplish the work God has given us.

While true, if we hyper-focus on our mission we can make it an idol and fail to care for those God has entrusted to us.

Our life purpose is never an excuse to neglect our family.

Focus on Family

We entered a sacred vow to love our wives for the rest of our lives. And we have a sacred responsibility to the children in our home as well.

This is not a duty to take lightly. In fact, the Apostle Paul suggests we cannot claim we love God if we fail to care for our own families.

At some point, our work and other commitments have to take the hit if it means neglecting the wellbeing of our families.

However, this does not mean that we make our family an idol – living exclusively for them.

While caring for our household, we do not get to neglect caring for our neighbors, the community, and the world around us through the work God has given us.

Elusive Balance

As much as these dual callings can seem in conflict with each other, they actually work well together.

Knowing our deep purpose gives us confidence and allows us to consistently offer our strength to our families. And our families support, encourage, and motivate us to keep showing up and offering our strength to the world.

Balance is needed, though I’m not sure perfect balance is possible. And maybe that’s not the point.

Maybe the point is for us to wrestle with the tension – allowing it to expand our capacity to creatively love both at home and in the world.

Learn to hold this tension as you fulfill your life purpose and care well for your family.

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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