You can’t have harmony in your life by yourself. It requires the support of other people—family members, colleagues, etc. But that support doesn’t go just one way. To achieve true harmony, you have to give other people your support, too. For example, think about your spouse. How do you support that person? The answer is different for everyone because every person’s needs and wants are different.Here are a few ways I support my wife, Jodie:I make sure we get a date night once a week. I make sure to give her time each week just to do the things she wants to do. Plus, I try to take on some of her responsibilities without her having to ask me to do them. I adapt my work schedule to allow time for our family and the activities we want to do. And I encourage her to pursue her individual interests. For example, I recently got her stand-up paddleboards so she could go to the lake with friends. I worked from home that day so that I could be there with the kids. Those are just a few of the ways that I support her. She supports me, too, in a million different ways.Bottom line: We are both intentional about offering the other person support. We know it’s crucial to build and maintain the harmony we both want in our lives.If you have children, that’s a relationship you need to support in different ways. Do you worry that if things don’t change, your kids will grow up without ever getting to know you? Or that they’ll be out of the house before you get a chance to be the parent you want to be? I understand those fears—but I also know there’s a way to deepen the connection with your kids. How? By learning to ask them the right questions.Now that my kids are older, I ask them four questions when I take them on their birthday trips.#1: How am I doing as a dad?#2: What can I do to be a better dad?#3: What’s something I do right now as a dad that you love that I should keep doing?#4: What’s something I’m not doing very well, and you wish I would change?Sometimes, hearing some of their feedback is hard. That’s okay. The important thing is to ask questions and listen and take notes. It’s not about arguing with your children. It’s not about getting defensive or frustrated and trying to change their minds. Ask questions and listen without cutting them off or offering rebuttals. Look them in the eyes and pay attention to them. Your focus on them is one of the ways they know how much you love them. Ultimately, the focus you give your family is what will deepen the connection between you.
I recently had lunch with a friend who has made a ton of changes to his personal life. He used to struggle with achieving the ever-elusive work–balance. Finally, one day, he asked me something that changed everything: “How do you get so much work done but still make sure your family likes you?” This question came from a place of fear. He didn’t know if he could have a good relationship with his kids before they moved out. Even worse, he feared how disconnected he and his wife would be when that time came. I told him I strive for work-life harmony, not work-life balance. I shared how focusing on harmony has helped me and my family live out our purpose. And, I reminded him he deserved to have that harmony, too.How is he now? He takes his kids out on a date once a week. He dates his wife, and they have a closer and better relationship than possibly ever before. No, he didn’t make wide, sweeping changes to his life overnight. It took a few years, but things got progressively better each year.Work-life harmony has a compounding effect. It’s completely changed my friend’s life and the lives of his wife and children. The ripple effect their harmony has will continue to be felt for generations. That harmony is an essential part of God’s mission for families, and it can change every aspect of your life. What can you do to create harmony for your family where you are now?For more advice on how to be more intentional and efficient in how you spend your time, you can find Grant’s book Work-Life Harmony on Amazon.
Husband, Dad, and Sun Valley Community Church student ministry volunteer. A Finance Expert and Founder of Stewardship. Christian Ministries major from Arizona Christian University and bestselling author.