“And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.”
— Deuteronomy 26:11
The Win in Family Life
Let me tell you about Jim.
Jim had a good-paying job in Manila. But he wanted more. He wanted to buy a bigger house, to buy a better car, to go to better vacations.
He tried to convince himself that he was really doing this for his family. So he applied for work in Saudi Arabia and got accepted.
Jim talked to his wife and she understood. With reluctance, she allowed him to go.
It was now time to talk to his six-year-old boy, Jaime.
After dinner, he sat in front of little Jaime and spoke to him in a way that the boy could understand. Jim said,
“Jaime, I need to work in a different country so I could earn more money for you. You won’t see me very often, but please remember that I’m doing this for you. So I could buy you more toys …” (I now realize how we learn to bribe…)
Six-year-old Jaime nodded and Jim was happy that he understood. He and his wife tucked their son to bed.
A few minutes later, while Jim and his wife were already in their bedroom, Jaime knocked on the door.
When they opened it, they saw Jaime dragging behind him his box of toys. The six-year-old said, “Daddy, I want to sell my toys so you can have money. So you don’t have to go away to work anymore.”
Jim cried that night. His little boy was telling him what was most important. Little Jaime knew what the win of family life was.
It’s not how big your house is, or how new your car is, or how expensive your family vacation is. Your win is in your relationships.
(Note: There are more desperate situations where parents have no choice but to work abroad. This is perfectly understandable. But this isn’t my example above. Jim already has a good-paying job and a house.)