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Husbands: So Now You’re Working From Home…

As I write this blog I’m sitting in my guest room, on a tiny chair, and working from a tiny desk that barely fits my things. Outside the door, one son is yelling at another son and chasing him down the hallway, with my wife pursuing after trying to prevent a fight.

And now someone’s crying.

And though the door is closed and white noise is blaring in my earbuds, the thin walls and hardwood floors seem to amplify the noise. This will be my life for the foreseeable future; save the Lord miraculously ends COVID-19 and we are all allowed to go back to normal life. While your situation may not be identical to mine—fathers—I would imagine there are similar flavors to your own experience working from home. Here are a few thoughts to consider as you seek to honor Christ while managing your work flow in the midst of your family’s daily life.

1. Anger Isn’t Going to Help
When things are not working efficiently at work, many of us express frustration and anger at the source of the problem. However now, if you are working from home, the thing disrupting your work is probably the eternal souls outside your door. Are you going to spend the next month being angry at your family for doing what they do every day, just because it makes your work more challenging? Good sense makes one slow to anger (Prov 19:11). I know your life has been dramatically impacted and your work deadlines are still hanging over your head. But that’s not your families fault. Don’t take it out on them. Anger causes much transgression (Prov 29:22), and the righteous will strive to remain far from it.

2. Remember: You Are Also In THEIR Way
If your family is like mine, they have a normal flow to their day that makes life consistent and sustainable. Do you recognize that by YOU being around, THIER workflow has also been impacted? This means your wife is probably dealing with a lot of the same frustrations you are experiencing. In fact, you probably both went into this temporary lock-down with different expectations of what things were going to look like with dad working from home. The command you men have received from God is to strive to live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor as to a weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). This implies a number of things. First, you should try to work with your wife to figure these things out. This means open, gentle, and specific discussion about managing expectations and priorities, while you strive to understand things from her point of view. Additionally, this verse seems to assume that if YOU are the stronger vessel, then YOU should shoulder the weight of the burden.

3. This Is An Opportunity
I know you still have a lot to do. And I know you can’t ignore your work to play games all day. But in a strange turn of events, you are now passing your wife and kids every time you need to use the restroom or get up to have a drink of water. Use those opportunities to say something encouraging to your wife, or kiss a child. Or at least pray for them as you walk by. This time of unprecedented access to your family’s daily activities is going to be short lived. Make the most of it (Eph 5:16).

4. You Can Do the Things I Just Suggested
Yet not you, but through Christ in you (Gal 2:20). I want to leave you with the Word of God and the power of the gospel, and encourage you to set your hearts and minds on Him as you work from home and strive to love your families well. This is what I am praying you will see more clearly in the coming weeks: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20–21)
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