Monday, October 29, 2012

Work Schedule

It was 4 p.m.  I was looking forward to having my husband come home for dinner and helping me put the kids to bed.  It had been a difficult day with the kids and I just wanted some adult conversation and time to relax.  Then the text came.  "I have a meeting at 5:30 and will be home after 7:30.  Working 10 - 10 on Thurs., swing shift on Friday, and likely will need to work on Saturday."

What would your reaction be?

Honestly, my first reaction was not very gracious.  I was upset because I hadn't had an adult conversation in almost two weeks.  I was upset because he would be on a business trip the next week and I would be even more alone.  I knew I needed to change the way I was feeling, but how?

My friend recently told me that she admires me for being so flexible about my husband's work schedule.  I laughed and asked her what else would I do?  Whine and complain about something I couldn't control?  She replied that a lot of women would do just that.

That was a light bulb me.  I try really hard not to complain about my husband's schedule...out loud.  But I know that in my heart, I do just that.

The fact that he works allows me to say home and raise our kids.  His work requires him to be on call 24/7, and he often gets calls or texts in the middle of the night.  His job often has him working long days, and odd hours; we never know from one day to the next what his schedule might be.

MY job is to be supportive of him and to be the keeper of our home.  Complaining because he isn't able to come home from HIS job and relieve me from MY job is wrong.  I am not saying that it is wrong for my husband to help out around the house and with the kids, I'm saying that my attitude is wrong.

God has given my husband a great means of earning money.  God has given us three wonderful kids and a house to live in.  God has given me the responsibility of raising those kids to have cheerful attitudes and to be thankful.  How can I teach them to be thankful and cheerful when I am whining and complaining about the job that God has given to my husband?

Psalm 92:1  It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD.
Philippians 2:14  Do all things without complaining and disputing.
Philippians 4:5  Let your gracious attitude be known to all people.
1 Thessalonians 5:18  In everything be thankful, for this is God's will for you.
Ephesians 4:23, 29, 31, 32  Be renewed in your mental attitude... Let no filthy talk be heard from your mouths, but only what is good for building up people and meeting the need of the moment. This way you will administer grace to those who hear you...  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, quarreling, and slander be put away from you with all hatred.  And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you in the Messiah.

Well, that is convicting.

Be renewed in my mental attitude.  How?  By thinking on everything that is true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, commendable, praiseworthy, and excellent.  By practicing what I have know to be right; by making my words gracious so that my heart will follow.

Of course, I also shouldn't be acting the martyr and not saying anything about my needs.  But I should make sure that my heart is in the right place before I do, and then speak graciously.

I challenge you (and myself) that the next time you feel tempted to complain about your husband's job, instead to thank him for working so hard to provide for your family.