I was just about to go bed … as most of us do, we check FB updates as one of the things we do before we sleep … (yes yes, I know I know … I won’t comment on that now … )
There was a post where a lady was sharing/venting about her relationship (it was anonymous … ). She was describing his behaviour which in summary was unromatic, unemotionally supportive. She was sick – pregnant, with a young toddler and when she asked for husband for as she was just at her wits end, her husband dismissed her request angrily. She prefaced her post by stating that he is a good provider and a great father.
It wasn’t her post that made my get out of bed to write this … but her post combined with some of the comments she received from the other women in the group did.
… let me just say, some of them were very sensible, recommending relationship books, counselling, communication etc …
I found it interesting that in her post, she noted that he was a good provider and a great father. In 2014 a woman with a 2 year old and pregnant again would put her as someone aged between twenty something to forty something (at the latest). She is in a first world country. I also note, she is fluent with English (the post was articulate) which would then assume she’s had opportunities for education, and opportunities to participate in the workforce … but failing that, she would have access to social security if there was a rough patch. So I found it surprising that after all the “progress” that has been made in “liberating” women, it appears that there is still an expectation that a “good” man is one who will be the provider for the family. After the initial “shock”, I guess that’s something I can grasp, cause why wouldn’t that be better than one that can’t especially since the cost of living is escalating at a ridiculous pace, and most women would prefer to care for their babies without the pressure of returning to work sooner than they’re ready to …
However, what I really struggled with, was the suggestions the post received to simply grateful that her husband wasn’t an alcoholic, that he wasn’t a gambler, that he wasn’t on benefits, that he wasn’t abusive, that he hasn’t cheated on her … basically saying, be thankful as there are worse men out there.
That made me slightly sick to my stomach … while I appreciate the sentiment of what they are trying to say (that is, there are, or should be, good qualities in her husband that she should value and appreciate, and perhaps focus on to provide perspective at this particular time) … suggesting that she hasn’t scraped the barrel and therefore should just deal with it doesn’t settle very well with me.
While I agree with doing whatever you can to make a marriage work … what I sense from some of the comments is almost an “old school” idea or concept that women should be thankful if a man is willing to take her, and provide and be a father. That having “that” is better than “not”.
Perhaps, I’m a little lofty/naive … but in my opinion, man (or a woman) is only really a “good” provider, if he (or she) provides not what money can buy, but what money can’t …. and one is really only a good father (or good mother), if one recognises that the mother (or father) of his (or her) child needs a good husband (or wife), to be the best mother (or father) she (or he) can be.
It actually makes me a little sad, to think that some women, stay silent, stay in unhealthy circumstances, put-up with continuous pain and sadness all because they think that is better than not having a man, “a family”.
I believe there are two parts of God’s message on marriage, man shall love his wife as he would himself, wives to submit to their husbands … and ultimately a central focus of serving and bring Glory to God (not a focus on one self). Unfortunately, it appears in our generation, like so many things, we have picked the bits of the message rather than the full message.
From God’s Grace