Choosing to Cheat?

When Work & Family Collide is a great, instructive book by Andy Stanley. I think I actually prefer the book’s previous title, Choosing to Cheat. It is a much more eye-catching title, and I think it perfectly illustrates what Stanley is laying out. From his years of experience as a pastor and counselor, Stanley lays out a few nuggets of wisdom on how to keep your work from interfering with home life.

His premise is that in one way or another we are going to cheat. There are only so many hours in a day, and we only have so much energy. One way or another we are either going to take time away from God, our family, or work. Of these three options, he feels – and I don’t think there’s much arguing with him here – the later is the one that should be cheated. However, that does not always seem to be the case. Yes, it is true that the tendency is to work hard to provide for the family, but there is no substitute for an absent parent – no matter the good intentions. The world is full of people with good intentions. In fact, our prison system is full of men who were trying to provide for their families.

An example Stanley uses is Daniel. He had the choice to either hold to his conviction, or go with the flow. The easy thing would have been to just go along with the decrees of Nebuchadnezzar. I think he actually would have made you and I – as the readers – a bit more comfortable if he had gone along with it. I mean, it’s really only meat right? But he drew a line in the sand and would not go past that point. He would not cheat his God. In the words of Martin Luther, he could do no other.

When Work & Family Collide is a great book that I certainly use as a guide. The basic premise is that we need to establish our priorities, which is sadly easier said than done. Many parents today work hard to provide their children with the latest toys (the “I want’s” of today’s world), which tend to separate more than actually connect them with their child. These toys give us the ability to bubble ourselves in and lock family out. Not exactly the perfect combination for healthy relationship.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret, (SPOILER ALERT), “when work & family collide,” the family is the one that needs to win. In life we are going to cheat; it is a sad inevitability. However, we can choose where that cheating is going to take place. So let’s cheat the one that matters the least.

Even as a single guy, there are concepts in the book that I can now take and apply in order to set myself up to be successful as a future father and husband. I would highly recommend it to anyone who: has a job, has a family, has friends (a different form of family), or is considering getting a job, friends, or a family.


I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. There is no requirement for me to give a positive review; it is just a good book.



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