Sunday, February 22, 2009

on man as provider

there's a popular country song out right now ("down the road" by kenny chesney) about a man pondering a marriage proposal, and the lyrics of the chorus reflect sentiments of the woman's family:

Her momma wants to know
Am I washed in the blood or just in the water?
Her daddy wants to know
If I make enough to take his daughter

there is great truth in the honesty of these questions, especially the father's desire to know if the man "makes enough to take his daughter." although my dad never said it to james that bluntly, i know it was very important to him that any man who wanted to marry me make providing for our family a top priority. walking me down the aisle and giving me away to james meant that my dad had to give up his reigns as my provider and hope that james would love me as deeply and sacrifice as much to take care of our family as my dad did for so many years. i can't imagine how hard this is for fathers.

that being said, i think it is important to acknowledge a couple things before continuing:
1. God is the ultimate provider.
2. women are not exempt from responsibility (and there are times and seasons in life when women may be the primary financial provider for the family. this is not a bad thing at all).

i respect both my husband and father so much, and i am thankful the the ways they have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our family. part of the reason james and i waited several years to get married was because james wanted to establish himself financially by working for a couple years after college. at one point in our relationship, he asked me how much i was expecting him to spend on a ring (ha, who does that?). i told him i would never give him a dollar amount and although i would like something nice, it was more important to me that he could pay cash for the ring than go into debt. he ended up saving and getting me a prettier rock than i ever imagined (thanks jules ;)), but what meant the most to me was that he was able to pay for it himself.

james continues to sacrifice for our relationship not only daily, but by paying for things like our honeymoon to jamaica, vacation to ecuador, the down payment on our house, etc., and i deeply respect him for his attitude about finances. perhaps the thing i respect most about james is that he does all of this without making a huge living. his degree is in youth ministry and he works for a non-profit summer camp, but his mentality is so focused on providing for his wife and family. there is no doubt in mind that he will always be able to take care of us, even if it means working a job that is not necessarily ideal or working two jobs at some point to do what it takes. again, i hope to do everything in my power as well to live frugally and help our family out as much as possible, but i know james will step up if we are ever facing hard times.

1 timothy 5:8 it says, "if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." while this is kind of strong language and can have many interpretations (i.e. emotionally providing, etc.), i like how it emphasizes the importance of providing for your family. i am so thankful that my husband lives by it, and i know there are tons of other great guys out there working hard to provide for their families as well. perhaps the question kenny should ask is not "do you make enough to take my daughter?" but "do you understand the value of money and the responsibility you have to provide for a family?" i sure hope so.


Erin said...

Thanks for the guest book comment :).

I think this is really important, not just for the man, but the woman as well. Often women expect men to take on the provider roll, but forget that they have just as much of a responsibility to make sure that their family is taken care of.

My office mate often buys outrageous amounts of children's clothes. (Her 4-yr-old daughter has 4 pairs of matching rain boots and umbrellas... in SANTA BARBARA!) She makes comments to me like "oh, my husband is going to be so mad at me" or "i just won't tell him how much I bought"... This drives me crazy!

No wonder financial problems are the #1 cause of divorce!!

Jenny said...

This is a great post, Silvy!