Desperate “House Husbands” of Lazytown

Across the world, more and more men are giving up work to become full-time stay at home husbands and fathers aka “house husbands “. In the last two decades, the number of women who do not work to look after their home and raise their family has dropped by a third.

The sharp turnaround comes after 20 years of social and economic change, with parents increasingly sharing the burden of raising a family and many women reluctant to give up their career once they have children

We have all heard jokes about “who wears the pants in the family.” Yet leadership in the home is no laughing matter. During the last few decades our culture has redefined the meaning and responsibilities of men and women in society and in the home. Thousands of redundant men find themselves marooned at home, reliant on their wives’ earning power. So fashionable is this new phenomenon ! 

Many men are confused and insecure. Many do not know how to act in the home. Growing up, they lacked a good model for leadership at home and have no mental picture of what it means to lead a family. Consequently, they do not lead effectively, or they do not even try.

Increasingly, many men are becoming passive in the home. They’ve decided that the easiest thing to do is nothing. The simplest thing—with the smallest risk—is to stay on the fence with both feet firmly planted in mid-air and let the wife do it. When a man is married to a strong wife who will take over, he often lets her do just that.

But a wife will quickly begin to resent the fact that the man is not pulling his weight financially, She will think: ‘You’re not supporting me”. Within all of us I think there is still a very deep-seated belief that men should be the protectors. A gradual lack of respect begins to eat into the relationship and it puts men in very vulnerable position. 

What does the scripture  say about reversing traditional marriage roles?

God has placed the husband in the position of responsibility. It does not matter what kind of personality a man may have. Your wife may be resisting you, fighting you, and spurning your attempts to lead, but it makes no difference. I believe our wives want us and need us to lead. You are not demanding this position; on the contrary, God placed you there. You will not lead her perfectly, but you must care for you wife and family by serving them with perseverance.

To serve your wife is to provide for her. This provision first involves assuming responsibility for meeting the material needs of the family. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.”The husband is to lead in the area of provision and finances. In most cases this means that you, the husband, will be the family’s breadwinner, freeing up your wife to pursue her vocation in the home as wife and mother. It will also mean that you will be ultimately responsible for financial decisions and management. It may be prudent to allow your wife to actually pay the bills and keep financial records, but you must still be involved in the family finances.

 I would point you toward Ephesians 5 (where a husband is told to nourish and cherish his bride–is not provision an important component of nourishment?) or to 1 Timothy 5:8 where we’re told that a man who does not provide for his own family is worse than an unbeliever. I would also point you toward common sense. Common sense should tell us that women are specially created and equipped to do the work involved in raising children and that men are specially equipped to do the work involved in provision. This does not mean that a husband does nothing around the house and a woman never earns a penny. It is simply a matter of priorities

I know people will also wonder whether I am saying that your wife absolutely cannot have a job. I would again point to the broad principle that God’s primary call for women is to be involved in managing the home and raising children. As long as her job does not keep her from fulfilling her other responsibilities (such as a woman who decides she cannot have children because she wishes to prioritize her career), then I don’t see anything in Scripture that forbids it. Ideally I think the husband would wish to be in a position where if his wife works it is because of choice and not some kind of financial necessity.

Providing for your wife also means taking the initiative in helping meet her spiritual needs. You do this by modeling godly character, by praying with her, by spending time together in God’s Word, and by looking for ways to encourage her spiritually.

As we acknowledge Christ as Lord of our lives, we must work out our marriages according to God’s plan. The key is for each wife to follow God’s plan, know her part, and work to fit in with her husband’s responsibilities

2 Thessalonians 3: 10-12 ” For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.”

Wilbert Frank Chaniwa – @wilbertfc

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