Anna at Domestic Felicity some time ago, had been writing about Israeli husband’s that are in religious school while their wives work outside of the home to support their studies. Personally, I have seen this happening in America (with religious school and secular college as well), causing many of these wives to become drained, desperate and in some cases, despondent to life.
I want to make a clear note before I go on to tell this tale. People can sin and still love the Lord. It’s a truth that is hard to swallow for my black and white mind. It’s hard to comprehend that God still loves me when I sin. Those that are His battle the same war of sin that everyone else on earth does, but they have a Helper who can and does make them victorious, if we are only willing to allow Him to! It is a truth that haunts us, but yet, sets us free. If we can recognize that we are battling sin as Christians, just as were were before we came to Christ, we can admit our faults and failures, and continually hand them over to God.
I knew a married Christian couple that are some of the sweetest, most loving and peaceful people I have ever met. When someone needed something, they went out of their way to serve others and meet their needs. Many times they actually put their own family in a bind to help another family.
This couple was married for many years before they had any children. The wife traveled to work and only came home on weekends.
They had several houses, one of which they rented out to a small family. The husband renter lost his job, and couldn’t pay rent. So the couple I am speaking of let the other family stay there rent free until the husband found a job. Quite literally the wife was working to support another family!
Then the wife found herself miraculously pregnant. She continued to travel back and forth each week to get to work, before and after the baby was born.
The wife shared with me that she wanted to keep the home, but they simply couldn’t afford for her to come home. That if she stayed at home, her husband couldn’t afford to “serve the Lord” in the same way he had been. She shared that she didn’t want to leave her baby alone with anyone else, even people she trusted, because she knew that God wanted her to be the one to raise her child.
The husband, at a dinner, shared that indeed a wife keeping the home was “more” biblical than other options, but that it didn’t work for everyone. (My first silent question was if God commands it, why would a Christian think to say it’s impossible, but I digress. My second silent question was what the heck does “more biblical” mean????)
Then she became pregnant again. Still having traveling to work. She had become despondent and had truly lost hope to ever come home. She was afraid that if she did come home that she wouldn’t be a good mother.
Meanwhile, the husband worked a very low paying job when he easily qualified to make much more elsewhere. He pastored a lovely church, but it took up so much of his free time to serve those people that he didn’t have time during the week to spend with his family even if his wife and children had been home. And on top of that he was leading a bible study in town, not because he felt called to it, but because no one else wanted to lead it and he didn’t want to leave those people high and dry without a leader. If he left, someone would simply be forced to lead or else find other groups to disperse to. If the group is not strong enough to rise up a new leader and will fall apart, they need to re-evaluate their priorities.
The saddest thing to me is that they think of serving everyone else more than they think of ministering to God’s ordained primary ministry for themselves – their own family!
I’ve said before that I would not tear down godly manhood. And I won’t. In so many ways this is a godly man. But in this area alone he needed aid. He needed to prioritize his life so that his wife may do what God commands her to do, which is what God commands him to do. This is the man submitting himself to God’s commands and loving his wife as Christ loves the church.
The truth is, that is Any-Man America. So many Christian men long to serve God, but put or allow their wives into lives of sin to get what they feel is God’s will…
We often confuse His allowing us freewill as Him ‘leading us’ to do things, simply because He didn’t puppet us into stopping, and tell others (and ourselves), “God just called me to something different than X, Y, Z that can be pointed directly to in Scripture.”
These men must be called by other godly men that are following God’s call in this area of life – to enable their wives to stay at home, even if money is tight and they are lacking luxuries or he has to work 50 hours a week instead of 40. Voddie Baucham or Mark Driscoll are good men to learn from to start if you can’t find anyone locally.
There is nothing in Scripture that says, “To be a (insert missionary, pastor, etc. here), you must learn at a school how to do so. You must spend money to learn what I want you to learn.” In fact, I have met so many missionaries, pastors, teaching Mom’s and Dad’s, ministry leaders, and more, that heard the Lord call them to that particular area of life and did not wait to pay someone to teach them how to do God’s will, but simply… did God’s will.
I have heard many people say that the wife is working to support the husband’s way through college so that he can support her later in life. My father never spent a day in college and he supports my mother in a fantastic way now. College is not a necessity to life. What flawed human logic.
Sadly, these men are jeopardizing their bride, their children, and future generations to follow a dream that might not be entirely what God had for them. I am sure God leads many men to be preachers, missionaries, etcetera, but far, far fewer men are told by the Lord that they MUST go to college and have their wives work to support them. Humans often take what God gives them (be an ambassador of Christ) and twist it into something different (don’t forget to pay someone to help you become an ambassador!).
Since Scripture says that women that are not “keepers at home” (guardians – Titus 2:5) are blaspheming (shaming) God’s Word and that men who do not willingly provide financially for their families are worse than infidels (1 Timothy 5:8), it’s safe to say that those who want to obey God’s call in their lives… won’t hear God tell husbands to have their wives work out of the home, especially to support their husband’s financially.
The train of thought for me on this has not been to tear these men down. It has simply set a fire under me to lift them up in prayer. Pray that they clearly see God’s Word for themselves as husbands, that they will sacrifice their own wants and desires to instead please the Lord and serve their own brides as Christ does His Church.
Let’s pray for these men (and women who seek to work away from their home and family), that they will rise up and trust the Lord to provide for their families (financially, emotionally, spiritually, etcetera) when they obey Him. That Christian husbands will encourage their wives to be home and find it a beautiful and useful place. That their wives will love them unwaveringly even when times might get tough. And let us pray for these wives to not lose hope even if they have been obeying their husbands instead of the Lord, that they will be renewed in their strength and find that God can and will bring them home if they step out in faith and do what He says.
Let us pray.