Who Should Provide in the Family?
by Joseph C. Ibekwe
There is this wrong conception that the man is to provide for his wife. That is not the way it was in the beginning. God did not create Adam to provide for Eve. God provided for both of them in the Garden. After the fall, everything went awry.
Joint or shared responsibility for family upkeep is the law of post-fall. Nobody has the sole responsibility to provide for the family. This concept of man being the sole provider for the family and women being a appendage in that respect is the reason many men are dying before their time and many women are becoming widows too early.
Role switching is key to family upkeep and success. By role switch we mean that, at some point in the family life, it’s possible that the man is better financially disposed, then he should do whatever it takes to provide financially for the family.
On the other, at another season, the woman might be better disposed financially, she should also do all she can to provide for the Family, financially, without making any fuse about it. Marriage is a joint journey of life: two people holding each other’s hand to stand. Without understanding the principle of role switching and actually practicing it in love, no marriage can be said to be truly reflective of what God expects of it.
Whoever has what it takes per time, man or woman, to support the family, should bring it willingly, not by compulsion, bragging or condescendingly. We are children of grace and should act gracefully.
That is part of law of love in the New Testament. If you don’t have it, that is okay. But if you have it and horde it, expecting someone else to make all the sacrifices, then you are not acting in divine love. This is what we believe in our Church.
Let no one put unnecessary burden on the other person by reason of wrong slant of teaching in this area. If you have it, bring it to the table. If you don’t have it, that’s fine! Pray, work to get! Let love lead.
There is no law in the Bible that says a man shall be the sole provider or major provider for his family, or that the wife should merely bring her finances to support the family, as an act of magnanimous discretion.
We live in dangerous time in our world. If Christian families don’t bond together in this area, they will be swallowed by the subtle teachings of the world about family roles and responsibilities.
This might be different from widely held practices.
Joseph C. Ibekwe
Graced Family Chapel, Abuja