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Did God Really Say the Husband Has to Be the Provider?

I am from the South. The Bible Belt, Southern Baptist, wear your Sunday best to service, South. As such, I was raised in a home with a hard-working daddy. He worked hard outside the home, and he spent most off days working hard on yard work, vehicle maintenance, and the like. I never doubted that man loved us deeply, and one of the biggest ways he showed that love was by working himself to the bone to provide. He instilled a strict work ethic in his children, a strong loyalty to family, and I see his teaching in concrete form watching the strength of my little brother. Daddy taught us well, and I mention all this to ensure I’m understood that his role as a provider is still held highly in my memory. He raised me to find a husband who could do the same, be a provider. The church raised me to be a member of a household where my husband is the provider. I started to wonder, as my life has changed over the past couple of years, what does God say about a husband being the provider?

You see, currently I am the breadwinner. I have always made more in a monetary sense than my spouse. I have a college degree, where he does not. I hold a career that is in high demand, where his forte (restauranteur) is a dime a dozen. So, I’ve always been the primary breadwinner, even when I worked part-time, but this past year and a half he has taken on the role of full-time househusband, while I am the financial earner. We both work, but I provide the finances for the home, something I realize that my upbringing has told me defines “a provider.”

Since my husband no longer provides financially for the family, I have been more interested in what the Bible has to say about that. Not just what man has to say about it, what society has to say about it, or what my Facebook friends have to say about it. In my scriptural research on provision, as it relates to the husband, I’ve found a lot.

I’ve found that man is called to be the head of the family, that he is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. I’ve found where it states the woman is the weaker vessel, and how she must submit to her spouse. I found a verse where it instructed the woman to work at home, but also found one where a virtuous woman brings income to her home, making me realize that specific situations where God instructs bring differing ways of how a woman’s role will look. In all my studying and research, though, I never found any scripture that stated, “a man must provide the money for the house or he ain’t no man!” I just couldn’t find it.

So, what did I find? I found the greatest commandment of all. I found where Jesus states that above all we are instructed to love the Lord our God with all our heart and all our strength, the second being to love our neighbor as ourselves. In this same vein of love I also came across one of my favorite readings in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13), and it states that without love, we are nothing. So how does that mingle with provision?

I can recall my first marriage. My spouse showered me with gifts, expensive jewelry, trips, and fancy dining. We were financially well off, and the world was my oyster. I lacked no “thing,” yet I never felt so less. I desired to feel beautiful, I craved affection, I grasped for a feeling of being deeply loved, but instead I just felt like a roommate. No offense intended to my ex, but he lacked in providing me with the love I needed. The diamonds made me feel loved for a moment, but they didn’t provide the deep affection my heart desired, a love that word, action, and deed provided. All this to say, a man can shower his wife with cash, but according to God, if it lacks love, it means nothing.

I think the world has perverted God’s design for provision. In a harsh world that does require things like food and shelter, we have somehow come to the idea that physical items like a paycheck and large home are all the requirements of provision, but if you’re going to provide for your wife like Jesus provides for the church, then more than a stack of benjamins must be taken into account.

If you’ve been in a loveless marriage then you know what I’m saying. If you’ve been in an abusive relationship you know what I mean. You can have a closet full of designer clothes, roses every day, and vacations to the Bahamas, but if he’s sleeping with his coworker, none of that matters. A woman’s heart requires more than the bills paid, and children require more than good shoes and food on the table. Those monetary provisions are required for life, but so is love if you want a fruitful, thriving life. Any adult who grew up with an absent father, always at work, will tell you a part of their heart is missing. I understand that financial provision is a necessity of life, but I’m just saying that I think we forget that’s not all there is. God does instruct the family on more than who should pay the bills. In fact, I think Jesus tells us not to worry about where our food and clothes will come from. First is love.

Brie Gowen
Brie Gowenhttp://briegowen.com/
Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

Jill Duggar Dillard Suffers Pregnancy Loss, Announces Stillbirth of First Daughter

Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband Derrick Dillard are grieving this week after suffering a heartbreaking pregnancy loss. The couple announced Saturday the stillbirth of their daughter, Isla Marie Dillard.

Stranger Takes Photo of Family at Disney—Then He Promises He’s Not “Creepy” & Makes 1 Heartbreaking Request

"Several minutes later the same man who had just taken our picture walked up to us, in tears, and asked if we had a moment. He promised he wasn't creepy and introduced himself as Scott and his wife as Sally."

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Explore heartfelt and unique ways to say 'sorry for your loss' with our guide. Learn how to offer condolences that truly resonate, including personalized expressions of sympathy and thoughtful gestures to support those grieving.