Role Reversal: Who wears the pants?

In an earlier and much simpler time, the role of men and women were clearly defined. The man went out to the farm or to hunt and the women cooked whatever they brought back and tended the huts or caves. Later, men started enlisting women in farming activities. Before long, women began to think of industries outside the home that could bring in more income in the home. Nowadays, it is no longer shocking that in many homes the woman is the sole provider of all the financial needs of the family. Is this a disturbing trend or not? Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about this.

1Tim 5:8 says: “But if any provideth not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

Many people quote the above scripture to point out that men have to provide for their family. It is not an option. It is a necessity. But, sometimes things are not always that cut and dried. What if the man suddenly loses his job? Or becomes permanently handicapped? Or has a job but is unable to make as much as he wants to even though he makes a concerted effort to do so?

A friend gave me this scenario. Suppose a married man earns a 100k and his wife earns 300k. His salary is just the exact amount to pay all the bills and then he has nothing left over. Is he expected to do everything and let the woman keep all her money just because he is the man? I think there will be problems in such a situation. In my personal opinion, the family will do well to pool all their money together as the net income and make a budget based on that. It will be preposterous for the man to say since his wife earns three times as much as he does; the wife should shoulder all the responsibilities since she would still have over 200k left over. Unfortunately, a lot of men today have that mentality. In the Old Testament, we are told of a curse that was placed on the people where 7 women will suddenly take hold of one man and say: “We will provide our own food and shelter only let us bear your name.” It was a curse then and it is a curse now. Women were never meant to be providers in the home; their role was to be that of helpers. We should not turn them into what they are not.

Today’s men are being emasculated. Not just by the feminist movement but because many of them are refusing to stand up for their role as men. Research has shown that men who do not earn as much as their wives and do not provide are more likely to become more overly suspicious, controlling and develop an inferiority complex. Their wives are also more likely to become more disrespectful nag and even have affairs outside the home because they no longer have any regard for their husbands. Note that I said: “more likely.” There are always exceptions to the rule. It is worthy to note that in the grand scheme of things, men are not supposed to be lazy or stingy.

I do not in any way endorse those women who suddenly lose respect for their husbands just because he lost his job or is unable to provide because of a temporary setback. He is still the head of the home whether he has a broken back or not. Whether you have more fancy degrees or not. Wives should not pressure their husbands to achieve more than he can.  There’s a difference towards pressurizing someone and encouraging the person. Comparing their husbands with other men only leads to nothing but trouble. Women are supposed to encourage their husbands especially when they see the man is making concerted efforts to do the best he can.

Today’s permissive society has a lot to learn from the traditional values. When it comes to the family, the men are the only ones permitted to wear the pants in the relationship. They only need to learn to do what it takes to make them worthy to wear such apparel.

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