I teach communication and leadership at a Christian college. You wouldn't think a professor would have to travel a lot—and you'd think he'd have tons of time in the summer to spend with his family. But that's not how it is for me.
My specialty area is teaching young people to be leaders as Christians and to talk with nonbelievers about their faith. That involves a lot of traveling to work with youth groups, churches and professional associations. Then, part of my job at the college is running a summer institute, where teenagers do intensive sessions in apologetics and leadership. That means summer is my busiest time.
Danielle has been great about hanging in there when I'm away from home. For a while she was working to help us make ends meet. But since our son, Graham, was born, she's often at home 'round-the-clock with all the responsibilities of caring for him. Meanwhile, I'm on the road, which is exhausting too. It's hard on both of us.
Several people have called me a workaholic, but I'm not sure that's really what I am. I know I'm torn between family and work. My job is important—not just because of the ministry aspects, but also because it pays our bills. And it's demanding, especially in terms of time. But unlike a workaholic who is married to the job, my first love and loyalty is Danielle. What could I do differently to make things easier on her?
When we were dating, one of the things I admired most about Jeff was how hard he works. He's never lazy, and if he commits to something, he'll get the job done.1