The Provider

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Since the earliest time, men have been the providers. We see the division of labor in the book of Genesis. Courts of law, tradition, custom and God’s word verifies this arrangement. Men are also endowed with a sharp sense of responsibility to provide for their families. They need to be successful in this area, just as women need to succeed as mothers and keepers at home.

Along with this inborn sense of responsibility in men comes a need to be appreciated and needed in the role of provider. Not only do men need to feel needed, but they need to excel women in this role. There is nothing more important or more satisfying for a man. His feeling of worth can be greatly undermined if he sees women in the workplace advancing beyond him. This is even more hurtful if his own wife excels him.


What A Man Should Provide

(From Aubrey Andelin’s book, “Man of Steel and Velvet.” This is not a quote, but my paraphrase.)

"To put it simply, a man is required to provide necessities - food, clothing, and shelter. A woman is entitled to financial support from her husband. It is important that other than in emergencies, shelter should be separate from anyone else’s. This is necessay in order for a woman to excel in her role as homemaker.

There is no obligation to provide luxuries. He may decide to give some luxuries to his wife and children, but this will be his decision. It is not mandatory.

A man who has too high of standards may enslave himself so much to earning money that he must sacrifice attention to some deeper and more important things. His wife and their relationship, his children and their teaching, social affairs, and such may suffer. He also needs time to spend in meditation and study."


His Pressing Responsibility to Provide

Women do their husbands a disservice if they do not fully understand what if required in earning the living.

(From Marie Robinson’s book, “The Power of Sexual Surrender.” Again, my paraphrase.)

"When the majority of men marry they take on an astounding burden which they may not be able to lay down until death. Quietly, and without much ado, they put aside their freedom, and take upon their shoulders a social and economic weight for their wives and children.

We, as women, may give momentary thought to a passing fear of doing without, or of our children being in need of food or clothing, but we certainly don’t worry about it or give it much of our attention.

But her husband is not so fortunate. These thoughts are his daily fare. He lives each moment with the knowledge that his family’s welfare and happiness depends on him. He alone knows he has the full responsibility on his shoulders.

In her opinion it is not possible to exaggerate how seriously men feel this burden. Nor do they realize how much they think about it. On top of all this there is the added stress of today’s work world.

Competition for promotion and advancement is heavy and creates a strain on an individual. Often the competition is for his very job. Every man knows there are many others just waiting to take his place.

Even high level officers, doctors, lawyers, and self-employed men feel this pressure. No one is immune from it."


Do Working Women Feel the Same Kind of Pressure?

This kind of pressure is not felt by women. They have a different viewpoint of work than men do. She does not feel the same sense of duty. She can quit her job with no sense of guilt, and she will feel no sense of shame or disgrace.

If a man, on the other hand, decides to stop working it injures his confidence, feeling of worth, and image. He is viewed as a failure by himself and others. He also has to deal with the worry about his family suffering.


How You Can Help

After reading these thoughts you may be compelled to want to help your husband. Your first impulse may be to run out and get a job to help. This is not the solution to the problem of finances, but here are some practical things you can do:

If you do the above things you will help him far more than if you joined the workforce.


His Drive For Status

Right alongside the responsibility to provide lies another deep drive - the drive for status. The drive for position is evident in the male as he strives for higher position and rank at work. This is a strongly masculine trait which is lacking in a truly feminine woman. Women do not seek superiority over each other, but men seek to outshine one another and to have an honored place in the world.


Status With His Wife

The greatest satisfaction and honor however, will come from a man’s own wife. As nice as the acclaim of the world may be, it holds second place to your approval. It all pales if he is not a hero to the woman he loves.

Yet, painful disappointments happen on the homefront all too often. How many men hear hurtful phrases like, “It’s about time,” or even worse, greet his news of accomplishment with indifference, or with the idea that another man could do as well or better? Or, how many men hear praises of other men from their wives, but their own ears fail to hear the praise for a job well done?

You may have great admiration and appreciation for your husband, but think you are doing him a favor by not telling him so. You think it is for his own good that you withhold your praise. After all, you don’t want him to become arrogant. And wouldn’t he feel worse if he failed after all the nice things you said? (Go back and read the chapter on “Admiration.”)


Excellence in Work

There may be another reason a man dedicates himself to his work other than status. He may be motivated by a feeling of satisfaction in doing excellent work. This is the joy of the artist, carpenter, or musician who finds joy in a thing of beauty or value. This can sometimes leave the wife feeling unimportant. If your husband has a worthy and impelling goal in mind, give him the support to reach for the stars.


Remember: It’s better to have ten percent of a hundred-percent man, than a hundred percent of a ten-percent man.

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