This past Winter, our business had very little work as it did not snow much. My husband spent the Winter in a state of despair, not necessarily because we had no income, but because he was not busy. He gained some weight. He sort of wandered through the house unaware of his surroundings, withdrawn into himself. I've noticed that he gets like this even through the season, if things are slow and he's not out working in the sunshine doing what he loves.
It makes me think about the subject of WORK. God ordained that human beings work, that they not be idle. Proverbs 18:9 states "One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys." Why is this? Why is it that God says that if you are lazy, you are basically destructive? I can only guess based on my own experience. And that is this: When my husband is home and not doing anything, somehow, even without my thinking about it, it affects our day. It throws off our schedule, it agitates the kids, it creates an atmosphere in our home that is not very positive. The rest of us don't feel like doing anything either, inspired by the 'slack' in the attitude of our day. Now, that doesn't mean that ANY time he's home things are like this. There are the appropriate times when his presence is appreciated and welcome. But during the times when he is to be working and can't or doesn't, it does cause strife in our household. And the source is not just because he isn't working, it's his soul.
In his soul, he knows there is a calling to be doing something. When he's not, his soul reacts. As the saying goes, "idle hands are the devil's tools." Ecclesiastes 10:18 says "Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks." Could this not translate into our own lives, not necessarily specifically about our physical home, but the dynamics of the family within it? Surely if we do not take care of the house God has given us, and work to keep it up, it will indeed fall apart but this is ALSO TRUE of our family itself. Working out in the world is my husband's job. If he isn't doing that, it ripples back to our family and whether it is because of lack of income, or just because of the state of his idleness and all that creates, it is destructive to our family. Working on the relationship of our family is also true in this. We can't just get married, have children and go about our days not really acknowledging that we are one unit. We all have to work together to keep our family strong.
One of my favorite Bible verses about work is this: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." (Colossians 3:23) This means that no matter how much money we make, our joy should be for the Lord in our work. We shouldn't matter what others think of us, we should be worried about what God thinks. And it means that the work we do for our family, to keep our family strong, should be for the Lord. Not what the world thinks we should be doing. We were once told by family that I should go back to work in the world so that we can have enough money to do whatever we want, have whatever we want. But that's not what God says. My heart aches for all the people in the world that put money and things above their family, above what the Lord calls them to do. I can't imagine how many people are completely missing out on the purpose of their life because their eyes are not fixed on working for the Lord, but working to make as much money as they can to be able to have as much stuff as they want. And I ache for those who do not work because they don't feel like it or feel they deserve an unrestricted break.
When working, my husband is one of the hardest workers I know. He works to support his family and to glorify the Lord. His focus is not on being a "success" in the eyes of the world, but to please God and live a life that mirrors what He asks of him. His soul is in turmoil when he cannot work, as he knows the effect it has on our family. Work keeps us close to the Lord, as He worked tirelessly His whole life as well, for God's glory and according to the purpose for His life.
(all Bible quotes from NIV)