Yesterday I talked about American men feeling disappointment and burnout at mid-career. Today I’ll raise several key issues you should consider carefully and prayerfully if you’re among the growing number thinking about making a career change.
1) There are elements of repetition in every career, and few repetitive actions remain continually thrilling. Are you in the right place, but just needing a minor change of pace, or is your lack of enjoyment indicative of something more fundamental?
2) Are you wrestling with getting less recognition than you think proper? Is this a legitimate grievance, or your reticence to live contentedly before an audience of One?
3) Is your career disappointment a reminder that perseverance is needed, or an indication that your work is not the type worth pursuing for a lifetime?
4) Where does income figure in to your dissatisfaction? How does money fit into your value system, and affect your feeling of self-worth?
5) Are you giving your time and energy to something you can be proud of?
6) Is your career providing the opportunity to make a contribution to something you deem important?
Men, these are important questions. So please don’t make impulsive moves without answering them prayerfully, honestly, and with the help of trusted and spiritually mature input from others. Many of you may find God’s calling you to grow right where you are. Others just may be called to take heart and follow God to other things.
When you were courting your wife, she was worthy of speaking to yous on any topic at every level, wasn’t she? Think back to those heady days of dating. You couldn’t drink in enough conversation from the young woman you knew you were going to marry. You loved hearing every thought, every hope, and all her deepest dreams. You were learning her, and it was a thrilling, rewarding experience. Every opinion was a lovely thread in the tapestry she wove around your heart. But that was then; this is now. Somehow, somewhere, and at some nebulous point in time, things changed’
No guy would ever envision tuning out his lover before the wedding day. But in marriages all across the fruited plain, countless men snuff out the voices of their wives seeking to express themselves.
What this does to marital oneness isn’t pretty. Snuffing out your wife’s voice is a sin against her. It’s also a sin against God, because it discards and hinders His purposes for her voice in His kingdom.
Relationships, like people, go through stages of development. Therefore, I’d no sooner suggest that you recreate the first months of dating than I would for you to try becoming a teenager again. I’m simply suggesting that, somewhere along the way, most of us have lost sight of something wonderful’something worthy of being reclaimed: an eager excitement to learn our wives. Men, our wives are precious jewels ‘ don’t overlook and fail to appreciate them!
Are you sitting down? I hope so, because I’m about to share something shocking: Thirty percent of fathers who get divorced never see their kids again! And of the seventy percent who do, many see their children only sparingly—that is, the occasional weekend or holiday. These broken relationships cause great internal anguish and insecurity in these men’s children, leaving them hungry for intimacy, and susceptible to taking it wherever they can find it. Sexual sin flourishes in the wake of broken family relationships. The splintering effects of divorce shatter their children’s worlds. Rather than feeling accepted and cherished by their parents, they feel as though they’ve been cast aside. Consequently, they attempt to compensate for the love, affection, and affirmation that should have been provided in the home by mom and dad. Yet hope is by no means lost. One of the key components to making it through is teamwork. Kids from divorced families, need supportive friends and groups. More importantly still, they need an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. These kids face the daunting challenge of asking for help, and being honest about their emotions and struggles. It’s a major victory to come to this point, and most won’t do it alone. If you know a young man or woman from a divorced background, know that this is probably where they are at, and pray about how you could extend your hand to help.