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Men, I want to share with you a message from a friend of mine, Dr. Jim Coffield: “We are replaceable at work but irreplaceable at home.

We see it all the time with companies. When they let someone go, the company goes on, usually filling that position with someone else. Yet, we work as if we are irreplaceable. In fact, studies show that the average American works 1,878 hours per year, which is an increase from 1,716 hours in 1967 (see Richard Swenson's book Margin). Now that we are in the Innovation Era, we never turn off work because we are constantly checking our tablets. When we spend so much of our time and energy at work, our wives get our leftovers.

What happens when our marriages take a back seat? Our wives end up feeling unloved, unappreciated, and unheard.

I’m not saying to stop working hard. The Bible tells us whatever we are doing, we are to work at it with all our heart for the Lord (Colossians 3:23; I Corinthians 10:31). So, when we go to work, we need to give work our all. But what happens, if we never turn off work? I’ll tell you: You’ll never turn on your wife.

It’s important for us to remember that there are other people in our families who have lives. The world doesn’t revolve solely around our work. In fact, in the end, who will be the ones at your funeral? Your family.

Former Dallas Cowboy Coach, Tom Landry said it best: “If I lose on Sundays, I have a lot leftover.” He invested so much in his family that he knew his identity was not in being a coach or in winning. His identity was more invested in his family, in his marriage.

So, if you’re like me, and you struggle with turning work off, here’s 5 simple things to consider:

  1. Let your wife be the first to hear good news. If you hear good news, wait to tell your wife. This will show her that she is important to you.
  2. Get in the habit of putting your phone away or on silent when you get home (especially when you are eating dinner). The worst thing we can do to our wives is be in the middle of a deep conversation and check our phones. If you want to get in the dog house, keep looking at your phone.
  3. Don’t talk about work all the time. Your wife cares about what you do, but she doesn’t always want to hear the in’s and out’s of your job. She knows there are other things that matter in life and wants to talk about them.
  4. On the ride home, train your mind to turn off work so that you can turn on your wife. I have workaholic tendencies, and it’s hard for me to turn off work when I get home. Sometimes I ask God to help me on my ride home to stop thinking about work and intentionally invest in my wife.
  5. Use up all your vacation time. Most men I know don’t use up all their vacation. Carve out time during the year to take time off to be with your wife.

God tells us to love our wives and to serve them (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19; I Peter 3:7). We won’t be serving and loving them if we don’t spend time with them.

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