“Sooner or later you are going to have to choose what is most important to you: your job or your family.”

I remember sitting in that meeting, in shock, not wanting to believe that a “Christian” man would say this to me.

My initial emotion was anger.

How could someone read scripture, be in a leadership position in the church for many years, see the state of the American family, and make such a statement?

My reply to that man that day? “I made that decision a long time ago, before I ever had a family!”

Although my initial emotion was anger, the anger soon turned to sadness. Not for me but for the guy who made the statement.

Why? Because of what I observed on Father’s Day later that year.

When Father’s Day rolled around, I happened to glance over at his chosen pew and notice that he was sitting alone. None of his grown chi ldren were sitting next to him.

Back when he had a choice to make, he had chosen the company — his job.

And because of his choice, he was now rewarded with an empty pew on Father’s Day.

Give it all to the company. And in return, you will get a gold watch upon retirement or maybe have a million dollars in your IRA.

And then the company will replace you the day after you retire. Your name will be taken off the door, and you will only be a small footnote in their history.

I wonder how many older men sit on their porch drinking coffee every morning, regretting the fact that they chose their job over their family?

Your kids will always remember what you chose.

My wife and my children will always know that I chose them over my job. Although I am a minister, it is still a job. It is what I do.

But being a husband and a father is who I am.

I will preach my last lesson. My work career will end.

But I will never cease being a husband and a dad.

And because of that, I won’t allow decisions I make about my work career to affect my lifelong relationships with my wife and my children.

I choose my family because, aside from God, they are what is most important to me.

“Sooner or later you are going to have to choose what is most important to you: your job or your family.”

When that time comes for you, what will you choose?

It should really be no choice at all, because it was a decision you made long before you ever had a career or a family.

I once heard someone say, “No one wants to be the old man in the bar.” There is a lot of truth to that. And a lot of sadness.

But one thing that is even sadder to me, is seeing an old man, sitting alone on his pew on Father’s Day…because he chose his job over his family.

Joey Haynes is a follower of Jesus, married way out of his league, has two of the coolest children in the universe and is blessed to work with an amazing community of believers known as The Church at Rome.