Andy Stanley has written a great little article for the Catalyst monthly e-zine. He talks about how it's so difficult for those of us in ministry to "balance" our time between work and family. He even goes so far to suggest that if we have to "cheat," that we cheat the church and not our families. While I hope to avoid making that type of decision, I do agree with his philosophy of family first.
I have not lived this philosophy for most of my life, but I am really trying to overcome my "work-a-holic" tendencies. One of the best ways I have found to combat this tendency is to go in early and leave at the same time every day. For me that means I try to get into the office by 7:30am and then leave no later than 4pm. Most of my colleagues and our support staff know when I will be leaving, and it's amazing how that has made a difference. Now I try to schedule everything I need to do in that amount of time. Even when things are not quite completed by the end of the day, I try my best to set it aside and value my family's time by leaving the office. As I have often quoted through the years, "All I can do is all I can do, and all I can do has to be enough."
While I still violate this newly found principle occasionally, my relationship with my wife and family has been strengthened, and they know that I am committed to them and not just my work. You can read all of Andy's article here.