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The Wrong Kind of Work

Struggling with a “work-life balance” only becomes a thing when your “work” is at odds with your “life.” In the Beginning, people didn’t struggle with balancing work and life, because work was a healthy part of life, not something separate that you balanced against it. Work was done in service of life and, in particular, in service of the family. The idea that work would compete with your family—and therefore needed to be “balanced”— made no sense.

Yet today, we all struggle with it because our “work” constantly tempts us to pursue further honors, career advancement, money, distraction from hard things at home, and indulgence of more lavish comforts and entertainments. It even tempts us with good things, like serving others and helping “the world.” But it does so even when one’s “life” doesn’t really need any more of those things. Even when your family needs you instead.

When this happens, we’re doing work wrong or we’re doing the wrong kind of work—work that has become separate from the life we were made to live and which puts us at odds with what we love most: Our families. Good work nourishes your family. It doesn’t compete with it. It brings you closer to loved ones, not further away.

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