Nothing will throw off your [seminary] graduation date like a divorce.
That’s the first line of a helpful (and unsettling) bit of advice I wish I’d heard before entering seminary (see full text here). Perhaps I was given something like it and simply didn’t listen. To be honest, I still need it; old habits die hard, don’t they? In any case, I’ve tried to review the piece pretty routinely. I’d encourage any husband passing by to do the same, especially if you’re a seminary husband. After all, as I said in an earlier post, reflecting on Anne-Marie Slaugther’s article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,”
[T]he fact remains that too many men neglect their families in the interests of their careers and too many Christian men justify their neglect under the guise that they’re fulfilling their God-given role as “breadwinner.” In fact, some of the worst offenders are those of us involved in “vocational ministry.” We justify our neglect by the double-cover of supporting our families and advancing God’s kingdom. For those of us with these tendencies, we need to let Slaughter remind us that we too have responsibilities—important responsibilities—that cannot be delegated. We’ve been given the task of discipling our children—and caring for our wives—and it’s impossible to do this if we’re never home. And, for the vocational ministers among us, let’s remember that one of the ways we demonstrate our qualification for leadership is through our work at home, through the way we shepherd the flock that shares our last name. We cannot neglect that flock and still qualify to supervise the other. It’s not meant to work like that, no matter how important that second flock and its mission are.