Teach Your Men a Theology of Work
Of the 112 waking hours a man has each week, he will spend roughly half that time working. Yet most men do not have a good “theology of work.” Teach your men a theology of work. Here are a few points for starters:
First, every vocation is holy to the Lord. God makes no distinction between sacred and secular (have men look up the word “secular” in their concordances). Francis Schaeffer wrote, “One thing you should very definitely have in mind—that is that a ministry such as teaching the Bible in a college is no higher calling intrinsically than being a businessman or doing something else.” i
Second, I once met a man who said, “All my life I wanted to be a high school math teacher. Finally, my dream came true. But I soon saw two problems. First, my students were coming to class with problems math can’t solve. Second, the Christian teachers in my school don’t know each other. God has put a vision in my mind about how to address those two issues. I am an ordained math teacher.”
Help your men understand what they have been “ordained” to do and they will forever be grateful to you. Some of your men are ordained truck drivers. Some are ordained computer programmers. Others are ordained farmers.
Third, work is not just a platform to do ministry; it is ministry. For example, if you are a waiter, every customer is an occasion to demonstrate the character of Jesus Christ. If you are a salesman, every appointment is holy, and every sale is sacred. If you are a manager, every conflict between two employees presents an opportunity to model the love of Christ.
Fourth, to succeed at work but fail at home is to fail completely. Caution men that we have a tendency to compartmentalize our families while we’re at work, but not our work while we’re with our families. Our bodies are at home but our minds are still at work. Striking a right balance between work and family is a cornerstone of achieving a true happiness.
All men want to be happy. A man will feel most happy, most alive, and most useful when he is doing the kind of work he was created to do—even while feeling the prick of thorns.
Yours for changed lives,
Patrick Morley, Ph.D.
i Francis Schaeffer, 1985, Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer, Westchester: Crossway Books, p. 144.