When Work & Family Collide is actually a reprint of an earlier book titled Choosing to Cheat. I personally thought that title was excellent as it caught your attention and made you wonder why a Pastor would write such a book. Gives it “readability” don’t you think? Or at least gives it traction in wanting to check it out. However, I must assume that a number of people didn’t like the title so they changed it. The bottom line is if you have read “Choosing to Cheat,” you will simply be re-reading When Work & Family Collide.
Another reason I enjoyed the original title was due to the fact, as the author says, “We all cheat.” That becomes clear when Andy Stanley defines cheating as what priority you choose over another. There is much that competes for our time: work, family, church, hobbies, fitness., housekeeping, socializing, rest, etc. But with only 24 hours in each day, how does one fit everything in? The answer? You can’t. So we must “choose to cheat” on is what we say is important to us. And that is the crux idea of the book.
What Andy Stanley does best is to help the reader see how they can restore what really matters in life and then he attempts to guide the reader in making informed and purposeful decisions about the priorities they choose for spenidng their time. Stanley convicts readers with statements like “You love your family in your heart, but you don’t love them in your schedule. The problem is, they can’t see your heart.” Yikes! Very convicting.
Maybe one of the best illustrations to demonstrate how difficult cheating home can be on the family is when Andy Stanley gives a metaphor of holding a heavy rock. When you ask your friend to hold the rock telling them you’ll be right back to get it and then don’t it provides great weariness as well as guilt when they must drop the rock because they are too tired. This gradual process is likened to the person who cheats the home of their time. The loved one holds on as long as they can but in the end the “rock” is just too heavy to continue to lift. This is why Stanley tells his readers when they prioritize work schedules over family time, “it chips away at your spouse and kids’ confidence that they are your highest priority.”
The book is actually broken into two portions. First, Stanley identifies the problem and in the second portion he gives practical advice and a plan to “choose to cheat” wisely so that your family is not estranged. It is clear that Stanley makes a strong case for a stronger relationship be given to the home. One of the things he writes that makes his point is that “there are literally thousands of people in the world who can do your job better than you, but there is nobody who can take your place in your family.”
The book is a quick read but well worth it. Think about what you are “cheating” to read it but the best solution might be for you and your family to read it together. It just might make all the difference “When work and family collide.”
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