When Work and Family Collide (Case Study)

Case / Produced by partner of TOW
620 piano family

Maria had been preparing for this day for several months, and now her Saturday morning piano recital was nearly here. Best of all, her daddy would be coming! Her excitement helped her overlook all the times he’d had to miss such events because of his work.

Then, just a day before the recital, her dad’s boss called. Would history repeat? Would he be called out of town again? From what Maria overheard, she knew her dad was doing his best to get out of making the trip. But as soon as he hung up it was obvious he was unsuccessful. He would be on a flight that evening.

Maria did her best to be grown up. After all she was almost ten. But her sadness was deeper than usual this time. “Why does work always have to come ahead of our important family times?” she wondered. “Isn’t there a way to have both?”


  • “Faith, family and work”—a healthy ranking of priorities. But even with the best intentions, reality is often the opposite. How can we carve out time for the most important things?
  • What can Maria’s father do to strengthen his bond with his daughter?
  • Can employers and employees agree on family priorities ahead of time so that important events aren’t eclipsed by work matters?


  • But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
  • Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV).
  • He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers… (Malachi 4:6).


Businesses fall short when they oppose the priority of family. The best businesses are family-friendly. They recognize their most productive employees have happy family lives, and seek to reinforce family values in their policies and practices.

By John Beckett. Copyright 2014.