A Practical and Insightful look on How to Balance Family and Work

William Stegemueller

5 Stars

May 23, 2013

I just got through reading Andy Stanley’s “When Work & Family Collide,” which deals with keeping your job from cheating your family. I would classify the book as an easy and practical book.

To really understand the book you have to accept Stanley’s definition of what it means to cheat. To me, the word, “cheat,” is a strong word that conveys the moral idea of doing something wrong. Stanley, however, guides the reader to think of cheating as, “choosing to give up one thing in hope of gaining something else of greater value.” When you think of cheating in those terms, we are all cheaters. Daily we choose to shortchange one thing in order to fully experience another. Stanley puts it like this, “Someone is going to get cheated. Worse yet, somebody’s going to FEEL cheated. I’m not giving him or her what is deserved or needed. In that sense, the issue is never AM I CHEATING? The issue is always WHERE AM I CHEATING? (p.12)

One of the most common areas to cheat involves the tension between work and family. The premise of the book is that you are going to cheat, the question is who are you going to cheat; your family or your work.

Stanley challenges the reader to choose to cheat at work rather than at home. He points out that you are not nearly as indispensible at work than at home. The book is divided up into two parts:

Part One: Inside The Cheated Heart. Stanley goes into the heart of the people we cheat… our families.

Part Two: Strategy For Change. Stanley offers up some practical guidelines on how create an implement a plan to rescue our families. He offers up the example of Daniel in the Old Testament as someone who was faced with a decision of who he was going to cheat; God or his Babylonian rulers when it came to compromising his convictions.

Stanley states: Contentment is found neither in the marketplace nor the family alone. It’s found when we align our priorities with his as it relates to both areas of responsibility. There’ nothing honoring to God about the workaholic who neglects his or her family. But the man or woman who refuses to provide for the family brings no honor to him either. (p.26)

I liked Stanley’s Strategy for Change because it deals with cautiously and prayerfully going to your employer and working out a strategy in which both of you are mutually satisfied and the work gets done. Stanley offers practical advise on how to approach your employer. He is realistic to point out that sometimes it is not possible to work out a mutually agreeable solution. Then your faced with the decision of are you going to continue to cheat your family or trust God and look for a different job opportunity.

The book is short 143 pages that is designed for both individual and group study. There are good discussion questions in the back for group study.

I liked the book so much that I went to the North Point website (Stanley’s church) and purchased the mp3 message entitled, “Choosing to Cheat,” for $1.00 at http://store.northpoint.org/choosing-to-cheat.html.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review from Multnomah Press.