In today’s evolving culture since the rise of women’s’ rights from education to the workforce, we’re seeing an influx of women taking the lead as breadwinner in 40% of US households. That means if you’re a married American woman reading this right now there’s almost a halfway chance that you’re the main provider for your house. Taking this into consideration we can’t help but beg to ask even unbiasedly how these progressing conditions are naturally effecting marital and household conditions. How is this effecting the men who are called to be the head covering of our families; or the women who may have positional authority over men in the everyday workplace?
CNN recently released an article based on the findings of a new study in the June issue of the American Sociological Review showing that men who are 100% economically dependent on their wives were most at risk for infidelity. These husbands face about a 15% chance of cheating rather than a woman who’s supported by her husband at say a 5% chance. Sociologists are saying the reason may very likely be because of the social expectations of masculinity and how an affair can even subconsciously serve as a way to re-establish that. Basically, if he doesn’t feel like some sense of a man at home then he’s at risk of being vulnerable to someone who will make him feel like a man.
Now, don’t shoot the messenger here. Just as a disclaimer, know that I don’t write this article from a place of justification but from a place of prevention and most importantly awareness. We have to guard our marriages especially when we see the cause of threat on the rise. I believe, in the words of Dylan Rucker to me after reading through CNN’s article, “Just because your wife brings in the dough doesn’t justify you getting in your feelings about your masculinity and being unfaithful to her. That’s just childish. In fact that should push you to be MORE faithful and appreciative!” No matter what role a man or woman plays in the status of the world, there’s still a character both are accountable to maintain in the safety of marriage. However, it’s still very interesting to me how society can’t seem to shake the effects of imbalance when men aren’t leading their homes. When a woman’s running things at work does it leave her on autopilot to continue running things at home? How well are we really doing when it comes time to “flip the switch”?
Despite how things are ever changing in the world, at the end of the day our biggest concern is always home first. Whether she’s the CEO of a thriving business or the first female president I believe a godly woman has no problem recognizing the healthy authority a husband and father has in his household and serves alongside him toward a common goal: a healthy family. There’s a perfect balance that God has ordained in the institution of marriage so that the family structure would remain grounded. So how should a Christian woman, who’s called to be her husbands helpmate, transition at home in response to this progression?
“For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.” –Ephesians 5:22-24
Biblical marriage summed up is this: the wife submits to the headship of her husband and the husband lays down his life to accommodate his wife. She is an advocate of his greatest potential. Position, ranking and status should never supersede the value of her husband and the role he plays as the covering over their lives at home. No matter who she may report to in the world, he reports to God in accountability of their family.
I always found it interesting, in the story of the very first God ordained marriage, how God gave Adam the instruction to not eat from the tree (in Genesis 2:15-17) before Eve was even created (in Genesis 2:22). This means that Adam was accountable to hear from God for the instruction of the two as the head and Eve was accountable to get on the same accord under his direction. And then further on in Genesis 3:8-9, although both Adam and Eve are together hiding in the garden, scripture says God called out the man when they fell.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” –Genesis 3:8-9
We can go on and on about the leadership God has ordained a husband and father to take over his household. There are thousands of books, articles, sermons and podcasts on the health of godly marriage. I say all this to say that no matter what position we as women may take on in the world, we’re called to honor, submit and respect our husbands at home [Click to Tweet]. Of course we’re not talking about the abusive submission, but the Christ-like submission that’s reciprocated with a husband’s sacrificial love.
We’re also called to protect our marriage, leaving no room for the enemy. So here are a few quick tips for the woman who is the main breadwinner in her house:
- Never let position in the world go to your head at home.
- Stop trying to control everything.
- Let him lead.
- Regard him enough to ask his advice especially on big decisions.
- Be his biggest encourager.
Okay Brittney so what about the woman who’s husband wont step up and lead and you’re left carrying the weight, yet not by choice?
Firstly, that’s a concern that should be communicated between spouses honestly, seriously, openly and in love. Sit down and come up with a plan together, hold each other accountable to that plan, pray with him, stay encouraging and hold fast.
But Brittney, we’ve talked about it over and over and over again and nothings changing.
Thanks to today’s social breakdown, there’s a lot of men who’ve never seen the example of a leading man in the house. And the last thing he needs to hear from his wife, a woman, is a lecture on how to be a man. Not only is it discouraging but it’s degrading. He’s not a child, he’s your husband; your covering. The Bible says there’s nothing worse than a nagging wife. He may need godly men in his life with good character and good counsel who he can be sharpened around. The best way to encourage these types of relationships are by making sure you’re planted around the right people like maybe a marriage group at your local church and not because “your man needs help” because we need the building up of other wives too. Not only that but you’d be surprised how many opportunities may come about in meeting people just from being in community and letting your needs be known. Don’t forget to regard the quick tips I listed above either.
So does this mean that women should give up their dreams or even God-given gifts at the potential of advancing their husbands to shelter avoiding some threat of a power struggle? Not at all! But I do believe being aware of how today’s evolving social conditions are effecting our marriages even in the light of how God created them to operate can’t afford to be overlooked.
YOUR TURN: What are your thoughts? Are you a married woman who’s the breadwinner of your house? Or are you a husband financially dependent on your wife? How have you dealt with restoring the balance? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below.