Tensions Between Job and Family

It is becoming more and more difficult today for men and women to decide whose demands they must listen to.

Our employers pressure us to make our career our primary responsibility. They are ready to reject us (or at least never promote us) if we are not willing to sacrifice our family and personal needs for the company store.

Our children make great demands of us. Music lessons, athletic team practices, Scouts, endless car pools, discipline, diapers, fights, tears, hunger, problems, cuts, dirt, crying, selfish behavior, demands for hugs and attention—all of that is involved in having children. It is a tremendous burden and responsibility if we do not want them to turn into human monsters.

Christianity places demands on us. We are absorbed by personal devotions, neighbors with needs, people starving in the world, church attendance, financial sacrifices, church-related parties and activities, and in making contributions of time to local church work. Living a committed Christian life, like rearing children, has its roses and its thorns. Even Christ experienced both.

More demands are placed on our time by mates, friends, neighbors, schools, organizations, household responsibilities, chores.

But perhaps the demands that drain us most emotionally are intrapsychic ones. These arise out of our personal insecurities, inferiority feelings, loneliness, pains, anger, lust, desires for power, materialistic drives, parental injunctions to be perfect, true and false guilt.

More than in any previous era of human history, men and women find themselves caught in a tug-of-war, with job, family, church, and intrapsychic demands all pulling ropes. It is no wonder so many Americans are “copping out” with affairs, divorce, ...

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