Based on today’s economy there are many wives finding themselves in situations where their husband is no longer working or barely working to provide for the family. In a prior post that I wrote, A Working Wife, Welfare, or a Wild Faith, I mentioned that having a wild faith is not meant to be used as an excuse for a husband to be lazy, but unfortunately, for some that is the case.
Today I am going to address this issue in marriage, but first please read the following for a better understanding of this counsel.
#3 When Your Faith is Deeper Than Your Husband’s (read this one if your husband wants you to get a job.)
We are all lazy. Every single one of us. No one would be exempt from this because in some aspect of our lives, we just fall short in the diligence department. It’s human nature.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at the disciples in Matthew 26. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the Garden of Gethsemane and He asked them to watch and pray in His darkest hour.
So, what did these men who spent 3 years with the Messiah do? (Remember, one of these men, Peter, more specifically, Jesus was going to build His church upon him!)
Were they diligent in the task that the Messiah had asked of them? Nope.
These spiritual giants took a nap and sawed some logs! Jesus returns and rebukes them, tells them to wake up to watch and pray, again. Then He leaves. Upon returning to the disciples once again, He finds His closest friends, those that were most loyal to Him…sleeping again! This is what Christ had to say about the whole situation:
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38
Let’s face it, we are not as diligent as we’d like to think we are!
So before you move into reading about your man, please take a moment to read this verse.
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (NLT)
Remember that you are not perfect either. None of us are.
The intentions of this post is not to encourage you to have a critical or condemning spirit towards your husband, but rather to come alongside of you to help you have a better marriage while you find yourself in a difficult financial situation.
Here’s one more verse to help you have a gracious and loving heart before you read any further.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23,24
So, your man has lost his job, or his hours were cut, or business has dropped off and you can’t afford to make ends meet. Now what?
You see that he’s not trying too hard to find new work and he’s sitting at home in his pj’s all day long doing a whole lot of nothin’.
This is what the Bible has to say about a man and work:
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
Those are some strong words to swallow!
Perhaps you have wondered if your husband has ever read those verses? Maybe if you posted the verse up on the bathroom mirror it might help improve your situation?
Well, I strongly advise against doing this because it is not the wisest move you can make in the wifey department!
Instead, try something similar to this:
There are several different scenarios to what one would consider a lazy husband to be, so let’s take a look at each of them.
He fully takes his biblical role as a man providing for his family to heart. He wants to be the sole provider and have his wife stay home to raise the kids and be a homemaker like the Bible states. Yet, because of his lack of work, he feels useless and his situation seems hopeless. Depression and despair become his companions and closest friends. He becomes mentally paralyzed as if he has lost his way, and therefore, he could be viewed as lazy because the income that he is providing does not seem to be enough for his family.
He is in denial about his situation. He thinks everything will be just fine, yet, he is not dealing with his reality. Bills are mounting up, pink notices are lying all over the place and he starts to act like an ostrich who sticks his head in the sand. He is hoping that his financial hardship will just go away or that it will magically get better overnight.
Let’s add a 5th husband…
He could be a little of all 4, or various combinations from the above list.
As we move on to ‘What To do in Your Situation’, please take the following things into consideration because any of them can play a part in each of the scenarios above:
- Some men entered into the marriage before they were saved and they are still learning the biblical roles of a husband. Or they were saved, but they too are still learning, (just like us as wives!) Graciousness is needed here.
- Saved or not, some men felt it was just fine for a wife to work, but at some point, the couple made the decision for the wife to stay at home.
- Some men are not concerned about holding on to what the Bible has to say because they don’t want to give up their comfort or they are too proud to face tough and somewhat humiliating situations.
What To Do in Your Situation…
- In all scenarios, pray first! Then go talk to your husband making sure you have a loving and gentle spirit. Find out what his plan/direction is for your family. This will help you to know where he is coming from. Maybe he wants you to get a job, maybe his doesn’t.
- Perhaps he feels that it is okay for you to get a job, but just for a short time. If that is the case, ask him at what point you can come back home (if that is even an option). Examples: marriage is starting to crumble, children are acting out, etc. Know your exit point from the workplace. Keep your eyes peeled out for potential red flags in the home and make the commitment to leave the workplace if your home life starts to go down the toilet, even if it means less income for you. Make sure you and your husband are in agreement with this.
- If both of you are Believers, and your man is in denial (Husband B) about his situation and he refuses to communicate with you, then go to one of the Elders (men) of your church. Ask them if they (the body of Christ) would be willing to feed you and your children if you ever get to the point where you have no money for food because your husband is not working. You can still share your situation with them, but be ever mindful that you DO NOT tear down your husband in the process. Remember, the two of you are ‘one’. In doing this, your man might just get admonished by another brother in the Lord, and because of this, he might be a little more diligent to find work. Here is what the Apostle Paul had to say regarding a man not working found in the 2 Thessalonians passage:
And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 2 Thessalonians 3:14,15
- If your man is Husband A, then stay the course laid out in the scriptures. This is NOT easy. It takes great faith and a surrendered life. Both husband and wife need to be fully committed to God’s will for their lives in this scenario regardless of how bad their life gets. If this is your man, you need to encourage him greatly.
- One of woman’s greatest fears is the lack of financial security. We figure if our man can’t provide the income, than we’ll provide it for ourselves. So, we veer off from the path that God has laid out before us and we take matters into our own hands. Many, many women do this because they don’t know what else to do. Some don’t really know the path or the role of a wife, so they figure they’ll help their husband by getting a job even if their husband would rather them not. But the idea of living a tremendously difficult financial life seems daunting to the wife. This woman does not take into consideration what working will do to her marital relationship and the role that she has a mother and homemaker.
Whatever your situation, keep this in mind: The more a wife steps up and takes control, then the less apt the man would be to step forward and fill the role that God has called him to. Why? Because the role is already filled and therefore, he is not needed. That, dear one, is a DANGEROUS place for your husband to be!
My challenge and encouragement to you is this:
Don’t allow your pursuit of comfort tear down your marriage and family, because if you allow it, it will. Not only will you have financial problems, but you’ll have marital and family problems as well. Satan would love to have another believer leave their spouse and have a broken family over monetary issues.
Live a poured out life for Christ,
How important is your marriage to you? Do you just want to survive in it or do you want your marriage to thrive? If you’ve said yes to having a thriving marriage, then join me for some mentoring in your marriage!