There’s a Mother Teresa quote that goes something like “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”
And I love it. I love it so much that we had a sign made for our living room that has those simple words on it. Both my officer and I are in professions that are essentially all about helping others. As a police officer and a social worker, our days are flooded with people in crisis, people that need help, people that don’t have the tools or the means to do it (whatever “it” is) themselves. Our job is to help them manage. Depending on the day that can mean a million different things, but at the core of our careers and callings, our lives are about bettering others.
And it can be exhausting. It can be discouraging. And with the seemingly never-ending caseloads and call lists, it can be easy to put in way too many hours and completely immerse ourselves in our jobs, while forgetting about our most important job in the world-to love each other.
My number one job is to love my officer and my family. God talks a lot about helping others-our friends, our enemies, our neighbors. But He also talks a lot about loving our children and our spouses. Proverbs 22:6 says “Raise children up the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Being a parent is a gift and an important role, and something that God teaches us is not something to be taken lightly.
He also tells us how we should treat our marriages-as the holy things they were created to be. Mark 10:9 says “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” No one and nothing. Not another person, not a job, not a hobby, not a temptation. It’s so easy to put our marriages and our families on the back burners, even unintentionally. We live in a culture that is set on being busy all of the time. We feel pressured to be running from work to a soccer game to the grocery store to dance practice. We’re sent the message that it’s selfish to invest in ourselves and our marriages or its lazy to take a break, to spend a weekend at home doing nothing but hanging out with each other. We see the next promotion, the next car upgrade, the next upsized house dangled in front of us, just within reach, if we just work harder. Longer. More.
Don’t fall into the trap that all of those worldly things are more important than your family. Some of the things are very important-like serving in church, or making cookies for your new neighbor, or helping a senior cut her lawn. It’s important that our officers go to their jobs and serve and protect their communities. It’s important that I go to work and put faith in the struggling kids that no one else believes in.
But it’s the MOST important to love our families. It’s the most important to come home at the end of the day and LOVE them and SERVE them and APPRECIATE them.
If you want to bring happiness to the entire world-come home and love your families.