Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Marriage 101: Men Can't 'Have it All' Either

As a married woman, I constantly hear that I can 'have it all' - the family, the career etc. etc.  That there is a way to juggle, to have your cake and eat it too.

It's such a lie.  It doesn't take into account that women have different limitations and often something has to give.  That's why I was so relieved when I heard one speaker at a conference say, "Yes, you can have it all....just not at the same time."  Sometimes you might have to wait until the kids are in full-time school or have left home to pursue study or a career.  I'm glad I got all of my study out of the way before I had kids....I know I can't cope with both at once.

But what annoys me is that while the message to women is slowly changing, the message to men remains the same....THEY can have it all.  They can be a full-time working man and a family man.  They can be heavily involved at church.  All at the same time.

It's just not true.

I know many women who are privately frustrated that their husbands put work and church above family.  But after confessing that, they plaster on a smile and say, "Whatever makes him happy."

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating making family life into some kind of idol.  I know families need to put food on the table, and often that responsibility for working outside the home falls to the husband.  I'm not advocating that families becoming self-functioning islands who don't need other relationships.  I'm not advocating skipping church to have 'family fun time'.

While some women care too much about what their workplace and church thinks of them, so do some men.  It's like the responsibility of having a family has become a sort of hobby that they tack onto their life.

The Bible is clear that both singleness and marriage are good things.  Paul even goes as far as to say some people should remain single as they have undivided attention to focus on the Lord.  I hear some people wanting to matchmake singles who are very, very busy people.  Personally, unless some people cut down on their dedication to their career and their extracurricular activities, I don't think they should get married.  Where on earth would a wife fit in their jampacked life?

God comes first, but that doesn't mean going on every church roster in existence.

No-one can 'have it all' at once.

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