Andy Stanley pulls together personal stories and life experience in this small book, yet the principles I find here have a profound effect on family life and they way we live it. Perhaps one of the best stories in the book comes a third of the way through. Andy tells the story of a woman who is a great conference speaker and travels quite constantly but what she doesn’t know is that she is, as Andy puts it, cheating at home. She is giving her precious time to people on the road and giving them the impression that they are the most important people in their life right now. This leads to her coming home one night and receiving a letter from her husband letting her know that he no longer wants to continue their marriage. The woman is devastated and misunderstands why her husband no longer wants to live up to this commitment. Raising two kids at home and working on an internet business is hard work and the husband no longer wants to feel like a single parent.
This may not connect with you personally but in some way, maybe not so obviously, you are cheating someone, somewhere. You can’t give you’re time to everyone all the time. It’s impossible. One of the clear cut calls for us in scripture is to love our families the way Christ loves the Church. Personally in my own life I can see the biblical principals that need to be applied in my own family. I have seen this book as a tool that God has brought me to use in order to further my leadership and to better use my time with my wife and children.
Andy Stanley’s writing style is extremely readable and understandable. He does not make far fetched applications but makes it very easy to apply on a personal level. Of the many things said in this book I think Andy says it best; “Order your world around your heavenly Fathers’s priorities and then trust him to fill the gaps created by your faithfulness. Instead of asking God to stand watch over your family while you give to your career what belongs at home, turn the prayer around. Go home, seek him first, and ask him to bless things at work. In time you’ll discover that when you prioritize correctly at work and home, God will honor you in both arenas. Everybody wins.”
I recommend this book for the quick read yet also for the profound wisdom found within. If you have a family and are looking for a highly helpful book then this is definitely one for the bookshelf.
In compensation for writing this review I received a free copy of Andy Stanley’s book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.