Lies men believe

“The best way to provide for my family is to work, work, work.”

Our men have a desire to protect and provide. Usually, guys are so focused on this that they forget what we need is … them. I want my husband home for supper—physically and mentally. I want him to have fun with us in the evening and on the weekends and for him leave his work at work. Granted it’s great to have a house to live in, food on the table and clothes to wear. And sometimes we get caught up in the confusion of “need” versus “want” and put unnecessary pressure on our husbands, too. But I think I speak for every married woman I know when I say I would rather have my husband chasing after me than a promotion.

I am very thankful to have just such a husband. But I know some whose husbands have forgotten what follows Ephesians’ verse on submission: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.” Ephesians 5:25, 28

Now, for anyone whose husband works his butt off to just have ends meet, especially so that you can stay home, I applaud him. But if he is in it for the glory, a bigger house or a basement full of toys, my heart goes out to you. How much is too much? I guess that’s the tough question. If his work takes priority over his family, though, I hope he will someday be convicted of his distraction so that he will not miss out on his wife and kids. Maybe you can get him to watch Adam Sandler’s movie Click with you to illustrate how you feel!

“But the worries of this life, the decietfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Mark 4:19

See also Lies men believe #2.

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5 thoughts on “Lies men believe

  1. I understand your point.

    However let me give you a little different perspective.

    Over the generations the woman who had the most surviving offspring were those who would nurture and protect their children, giving them a safe place to grow to sexual maturity. Many women today believe their own lives would be empty without children no matter what else they do.

    The men who had the most offspring were those who were able to provide the most resources during the resource expensive periods of child bearing and rearing. It was so important men have been programmed (for the most part) to see providing for and protecting their family, seeking places of status and abundance as psychologically rewarding. It doesn’t mean they can’t pay attention to their spouse, it simply means the same drive many women have when it comes to raising children is similar to the drive many men have for financial success.

    I have seen many women in 20 years of marital counseling who wished their husbands were more attentive. It’s one of the most common things I write about–men do need to be attentive. But I have also counseled many women whose husbands were more than willing to play ball with the kids and wait on their wife, but were unwilling to put enough effort into their career.

    Most women, in my experience as a counselor, only complain about the lack of attention once the babies are clothed and fed.
    If you look at the passage in Ephesians, aren’t Christian men encouraged to PROVIDE for their wives?

    “he feeds and cares for [his wife as he would his own body]”

    To most men, me included, that command would indicate my need to provide for my wife on more than simply an emotional level.

    I don’t blame women for not understanding this. In most marriages the man never puts into words why it is emotionally important for him to succeed at work and why he is often distracted even when he is home. Maybe if we were more forthcoming our wives would understand more.

  2. I agree with what you are saying to a certain extent, except that your argument about “drive” doesn’t excuse anyone from his behavior. Our natural, fleshly desires often lead us to sin.

    Women make the same mistake in becoming so child-centered (whereas men are job-centered) that they neglect the marriage as well. Sometimes this happens to make up for the lack of a father or husband figure.

    Marriage is the foundation for the family. The best thing a couple can do for their kids is have a healthy, Biblical marriage. For women, this means respecting the husband (and his job–a large part of who he is as a man), which I realize might be a vital omission of my initial post.

    It is important, however, that both the husband and the wife are focused on God first, then each other, and kids last. A job is intertwined with all of these things and is needed to help hold them in order.

    When men (or women for that matter) strive for financial success (beyond what’s necessary to be out of debt or make ends meet), what is it that they have in the end? What is it that they can take with them to heaven? What are they leaving behind? A wealthy inheritance to pass on? Isn’t time with the family, a spiritual legacy, memories, traditions, and so on, much more important?

  3. Good points, but being a man I (of course!) saw things from a slightly different perspective.

    I agree fathers should be active in their children’s lives, but that is a very fluid definition and is not clearly a black/white issue.

    You mentioned:

    It is important, however, that both the husband and the wife are focused on God first, then each other, and kids last.

    I have read the Bible several times and I was scratching my head to think of an example of a man who was first committed to God who we were told had a great relationship with his family. Possibly Job. Moses, David, Abraham, Isaac, Paul all had family issues. In fact Paul counseled against marriage simply because it takes one away from devotion to God. I’m no Biblical scholar, but I believe you will find me correct.

    When I think about my work and Biblical mandate I think about the times I am told to treat my job as if I am working for God. If God wanted to transfer me to a new location, I would take it. If I could be more pleasing to God by doing a better job and so advance in my career, I would do so.

    Should I do less of a good job at work simply because I am a Christian or should I do better?

    The idea of financial success is somewhat of a moot point in the US. We have so much more than anyone needs there is no clear point at which one can say “enough” or “too much.”

    My point is not to disagree with you Sara, but to give you (and your readers) a different perspective. Men rarely get involved in these discussions and, as such, their view is rarely expressed.

  4. I am excited to have a meaningful discussion on an important topic. I do appreciate you weighing in, especially with a male perspective.

    I will add, because I agree, I’m in no way implaying that men shouldn’t work hard, you are right about that. But I make the distinction between working hard as if serving the Lord, and working hard to serve yourself (ego, money, etc).

    For each person, this means something different, and as women we can’t make that decision for our husbands. That is why, even if we are right, we can’t change their minds. God can use the Holy Spirit to convict us and motivate us to change, whether that means re-prioritizing or being joyous and content, no matter our situation. So “all” we can do is pray that His will be done and believe that He has the best in mind for us.

  5. We can’t change anyone’s mind–it’s always up to the individual.

    Most (if not all) of what we do is ego driven. Even self-sacrifice we do because as ourselves we could do no other. We choose to do what we do because it meets the inner picture of ourselves. Paul put it this way:

    “It is God who works in us to order and to do according to His good purpose.”

    We simply become on the outside what we already are on the inside and I believe there is pretty significant scriptural support to say we are the way we are because God made us that way. Even if you are Moses’ Pharaoh.

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