Marriage-Friendly and Marriage-Testing Occupations

Family Swimming Together The separation of Al and Tipper Gore yesterday after 40 years of marriage got me thinking about the role certain vocations play in the testing or support of marriage. Politics has to be one of the toughest careers on marriages.

People must work to make a living, and all work presents some challenges to family life. However, it seems to me that some occupations are particularly straining on marriage. Politics is undoubtedly one of them. I hope you'll take the time to sound off on this. I've taken a run at listing the five most marriage-testing vocations and the five most marriage friendly vocations. I've included ministry in both categories. Tell me what you think of that and what you'd add or take away from the lists. This obviously doesn't mean that these vocations guarantee or doom any marriage.

MARRIAGE-TESTING OCCUPATIONS

Military – long stretches away from family, risk of life, lots of moving.

Politics – Many, many temptations. Lots of travel and time away from family. Often intense stretches of high stress.

Ministry – High scrutiny and "fish bowl" effect on marriage and family, pay is often mediocre, high emotional toll, always on call, often many moves.

Police Officers – high stress, risk of life, lots of graphic experiences, pay is often tepid—particularly early in career.

Attorney – Many temptations, high stakes, long hours, propensity to argue at home as well as in the courtroom.

 

MARRIAGE-FRIENDLY OCCUPATIONS

Teaching – Lots of time off and off when children are. Job is generally secure, barring a great recession 🙂

Ministry – Often flexible, intersection of family and church, church supportive of strong marriage, usually not a ton of travel.

Doctor – Pay high, usually number of shifts can be flexible. ER doctors may be exempt from this list due to stress.

Author – Flexibility, low stress, but hard to make a living unless you're really good.

Entrepreneur (Business Owner) – Flexibility, potentially lucrative, but can face challenging economic times.

There's my shot at it… what's yours?

 

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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