The statement “God. Family. Work. (In that order)” exists as the first stated core value for the company where my husband has worked since graduating college. Armstrong International encourages employees to honor God as their top priority, to establish and maintain a strong family life, and to work hard and do their best in their jobs. Their jobs come third.
The Armstrong family knows a strong business comes from employees with balanced lives, especially within core relationships. This emphasis is likely why the company continues full steam ahead after 110 years. Armstrong’s emphasis on God first, family second and work third creates a solid foundation for establishing and maintaining balance in life.
Relationship with God creates a solid foundation for a balanced life. This core strength creates a stability out of which meaningful relationships with others can flow. Without relationship with God, you might as well give up on a balanced life because he is the scale providing accurate measure for balancing all areas of life.
Relationship with Christ through Holy Spirit fellowship and time in God’s Word makes truth the foundation on which a person can build a consistently stable life. The quality of every other area of life directly flows out of this relationship.
As we are obedient to the greatest commandments to love God above all and love others as self (Matthew 22:36-4), we discover that balance not only happens consistently but even exists amidst chaos.
Our relationships, especially with those closest to us, provide an outflow for the abundant love of Christ. In other words, relationship with him makes relationship with others exist naturally. We can’t help but share his love.
Relationships provide input into our lives regarding balance. As we consider the quality of the connections we have with those closest to us, we know where to focus for more effectively living the love of Christ. At the same time, our close relationships also challenge our balance and ultimately strengthen us as we make the adjustments necessary for maintaining balance.
In fact, when making decisions about how to balance by simplifying, choosing to say “no” to good things to be able to say “yes” to better and best and limiting commitments so our relationships provide a solid guide for specific choices.
Almost always, choosing what benefits relationships with those closest to us – God first and family second – presents the best choice for establishing and maintaining balance in our lives.
With God as our top priority and with confident, stable, core relationships, our work life then becomes another extension of who we are in Christ. With that, our work becomes a way to:
- Show how to respect authority (Ephesians 6:5-9)
- Be an example of how to handle authority (Ephesians 6:5-9)
- Honor God with the skills He gave us (Exodus 36:1)
- Receive benefits we would not otherwise (Proverbs 12:14)
- Have our basic needs met (Proverbs 28:19)
Following the core value of “God. Family. Work. (In that order)” to establish balance won’t free our lives from trouble or stress, and it won’t always keep chaos and drama at bay. It will, however, provide a stability – a peace even – within our inner circle of existence that allows us to better function in all other areas of life.