We’re going to hear from Kim and Tim Stephenson on how their faith influences their work. Tim is a trader for an oil and gas company and Kim is a stay-at-home mom of three and recently started working two days a week for a start-up company that sells baby products. Tim is also a City Church deacon.
Q: How does your Christian faith change how you interact with coworkers?
Tim: Ultimately, I want my Christian faith to impact every interaction I have whether it is with coworkers or with the guy who cuts me off on I-59 during rush hour. With work specifically, it is always helpful to remember that work existed before sin entered the world. It is a good thing that can add joy to our lives by using the different talents God has given each one of us. I want to be thankful for the job that I have, and I want to honor the Lord by always giving my best effort and respecting my colleagues.
Q: How does your Christian faith affect how you interact with your kids?
Kim: My understanding of Christ and his deep love and affection for me absolutely affects how I interact with my kids. My faith is the foundation for all of it. Understanding love and grace helps me respond graciously to my children when they drive me bananas. It makes me stop and think before I speak in a harsh tone. It helps me to be patient when there is a lot of whining. It helps me not discipline in anger but discipline in a way that helps them grow from their consequences. It truly should affect all of my interactions. However, I will be the first to admit I lose sight of that, and at times my interactions are less godly than I would like. It’s a daily surrender and a place of constant growth for me.
Tim: It is all about grace. It’s the grace I receive from Christ moment by moment in spite of my failures as a husband and father. It’s the grace I am able to give my children, in spite of their sin, only because of the grace I have received. It is also the grace I can show to friends and other parents. One of the wonderful things about being part of a City Group is that we can share in the joys of life but also the struggles. I have learned so much from others in how they navigate their lives and interact with their families.
Q: Determination and confidence are rewarded in the corporate world, but as a Christian we’re taught to be humble. How do you remain humble but still compete for success and strive for excellence within your organization?
Tim: I believe that determination, confidence, and humility can occur simultaneously. Confidence and humility are not mutually exclusive. However, I think a significant difference is where confidence originates. My confidence does not come from trust in my own abilities, but instead comes from the belief that I am deeply loved, known, and forgiven by an all-powerful, wise, merciful God. I do think that pursuing success in our careers can coincide peacefully with our Christian faith. The important thing is not to sacrifice our values like kindness, honesty, patience, and many others along that path.
Q: Success in the corporate world often includes promotions, titles, or salary increases. What does success look like to you as a stay-at-home parent?
Kim: This is a hard one for me because I did come from the corporate world and really thrived off of promotions or praise. As a stay-at-home mom it is hard to feel the success that you get from a corporate job. I do know that I feel successful as a parent when everyone is being kind to one another, when I’ve been patient and had good teachable moments, or when I’ve had joy in my day and see the evidence of that in my children. Success may look different for everyone: maybe it’s a clean house, laundry done, dinner cooked, or happy kiddos. But at the end of the day, I just have to remember that God has given me the gift of being a stay-at-home mom just as he gave me the gift of a corporate job before, therefore it’s an extremely important role.
Q: How do you find joy in the more monotonous parts of your day like changing diapers, going to the grocery store, or doing household chores?
Kim: At a young age I was taught that joy was something that came from my relationship with Jesus and not something based on circumstances. Although I may not always love some of the mundane tasks of motherhood, I can still have joy! I often allow my circumstances to rob me of my joy, but joy is something I pray for daily. I want my joy to be evident to my children and to those around me.
Q: How do you pray for your job?
Tim and Kim: We pray for God to give us wisdom and grace so that we may emulate Christ’s love to each other, our children, and those we come into contact with daily.