Many husbands work tirelessly, believing that they are doing their families a great service. They are convinced that the long hours and hard work will bring financial security and happiness. However, they often forget the most essential thing they should be giving their wives and children—themselves. No amount of money or material possessions can compensate for absence and emotional unavailability.
Self-Deception at Play
In reality, excessive work or indulgence in pleasurable activities is driven by the desire for emotional gratification or material rewards. We may derive personal satisfaction from what we do, and that becomes a driving force, keeping us going. When our wives confront us, pleading for our presence and attention, we often resort to the familiar excuse of “I’m doing it for you and the kids.” But deep down, it’s our own greed that motivates us.
The Pursuit of Pleasure
Greed doesn’t just manifest in workaholism; it can also be found in the pursuit of excessive pleasure. Some of us replace meaningful time with our families by immersing ourselves in activities like golfing, fishing, or hunting. We become greedy for personal enjoyment, disregarding the emotional needs and well-being of our loved ones. I once counseled a couple on the brink of divorce because the husband played slow-pitch softball six nights a week. He boasted about his “discipline” in taking just one night off, while his wife felt the weight of his selfishness and disregard for her pain.
The Path to Repentance
To break free from the chains of greed, we must embark on a journey of repentance. We must turn our hearts away from our misguided and unrestrained desires and refocus them on God and our families. It’s important to find contentment in the love and support they offer, giving them their rightful places in our lives. Let me share a personal story—golf nearly destroyed my marriage. It became an idol, replacing my wife’s significance. But through repentance and God’s grace, I made a change. I repented to my wife, acknowledging my idolization of golf, and came clean about the pain it caused her. I made the decision to hang up my clubs for three years. The combination of my commitment and God’s grace healed our marriage. After that time, my wife, Karen, one day told me to go play golf. She was genuinely happy because she knew she would never have to compete with golf or anything else for my love and attention.
Greed can erode the foundation of a marriage if left unchecked. It’s time to take a hard look at our priorities and make changes. Through repentance, we can free ourselves from the grip of greed and realign our hearts with God and our families. Remember that your wife and children deserve the best version of you—the gift of your time, love, and attention. By releasing your selfish desires, you can create an environment where love, trust, and contentment can flourish.