I was sitting on a small group of ladies one afternoon when someone opened up the topic on providing financially for her family. In just a split of a second, everybody in the group was engaged. Everyone has a story to share. And notably, all stories ended up with one powerful conclusion:
“As a woman, I am not called to provide financially.”
1. You Are Not Capable
Yes, I hear you. Women are undoubtedly brilliant. In fact, I can name a handful of ladies who really outdid themselves in the area of business, education, fashion, arts, and even in leadership. Having said that, let me clarify now that women can be great leaders but not effective providers.
“But I have an exceptional job, which pays me more than enough for me to provide for my family, how can I not afford to give?”
You’re right. Point well taken. Yet, lets make it perfectly clear that you can always give but not suited to regularly provide.
No matter how high paying your job is, in the long run, you will be burned out. You’d find yourself asking questions like, “Can it be somebody else this time? I always give.” And yet, even though these questions would start rising up, you still do what you always do.. you give. You run to the nearest ATM machine and withdraw the cash that you have been saving up for something else. Sigh.
Why? Because as a woman, you are also designed to be affectionate, always caring, always devoted, always faithful, can be too anxious at times, but always warm-hearted. It is nearly impossible for you to resist that demand from your family (or friends). Don’t get me wrong. All of these qualities make you the most beautiful. It makes you the woman that you are.
But more than being beautiful, God wants you to be strong. Don’t imprison yourself thinking, “I am stuck here.” Do not build a pattern that will hold you captive for the rest of your life. Rise up by saying, “no.” Don’t you think it’s now the time to break that mindset of always saying yes because you love them?
When you say no, it’s a demonstration of love too, a deeper love.
A love that is not defined by mere emotions, but by deep-rooted decision.
It means you’re saying no now, so you and the whole family can say yes to a better game plan. Maybe it’s time to work as a family. Maybe it’s time to let them have a share with those obligations. Push them to be at their best by not teaching them to be lazy and passive.
Remember that love is greatly expressed in discipline.
2. When Ladies Provide, We Are Steeling Away The Chance for Men to Rise Up
Yikes. This crushed my heart so much. I have seen this curse lingering around my own family for a certain season. It was an ugly picture. My dad lost his job and his business went all the way down back in the days. My mom needed to look for a job which can feed all of us. By saying all of us, it means our food, our education, our house bills, and our emergency expenses.
Me and my siblings thought it was just perfectly fine at first. Anyhow, the arrangement was working. My dad stayed at home with us. He took care of everything house related. He cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (By the way, my dad is the beast in the kitchen! I love you, Pa. I miss your cooking. Huhu) My mom worked almost 12 hours a day. And yes, she brought home the money every other week.
Yet, the bad days had reached its destination. We witnessed how my mom went from this lovely woman to a very drained one. She was just exhausted, everyday. She was consumed with thoughts like, “If only your father has a job.”
Me and my siblings were there during those horrid fights between my parents. We heard all kinds of screaming, blaming, criticizing, and pointing the finger to who started it all. It was not a beautiful sight of marriage.
I am just grateful that God was there seeing my whole family through. My dad and my mom have resolved the issues and have learned how to work together in grace.
Thinking of it now, I realized that this pattern is happening not just in the boundary of marriage but even in simple school group works. The girl tend to be impatient so she decided to take over the entire job. Leaving no tasks for others. Putting the spotlight to her and placing everybody else in the background.
I am the most guilty of this issue. I always want to see results. When I don’t see anything happening in the physical realm, I use everything I have to turn things around. Which has always been my biggest mistake. Little that I know, men don’t just care about results but more importantly, they prioritize the process.
Yes, they can be a little bit slow sometimes.
They can even be in the phase of, “Oh, I have to do that too?”
Funny, I know. Argh.
But nothing is more liberating than to be that girl whose heart is to encourage and not to always become the lead. Give the shot to the guys. Where to eat? Let them point you to the way. Who will lead the small group next week? Shout it out loud that he is the man for the job! Who will pay this milk tea? Well, let him bless you this time. Only if he steps forward to do so.
Ladies, you see.. the problem most of the times is how we used our words.
Why not try another strategy?
Instead of, “I told you so..”
Try, “Hey, that was a good start. For sure, next time will be better.”
Instead of, “I will handle it.”
Try, “Lets do it together.”
Instead of, “Did you really just forget to bring the materials today?! Oh, forget it!”
Try, “I appreciate what you did last time. I hope there are more men like you.”
So be gentle, ladies! Not by our own strength, but in the Lord so we can enable and encourage the hearts of men to God, and inspire them to love and obey Him faithfully and wear the leadership hat.
3. When Ladies Provide, We Are Becoming the God of our Family
We take away the chance for our family to look up to the Lord for help. They could have been experiencing God’s unfailing power of provision only if we, ladies, stepped back.
Let us not rob the chance for God to show His unfailing power to provide. Above all, He is the God of your family. Imagine them running to God first instead of having you as their first option. Teach them to call unto the Lord rather than relying on men.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (Psalm 118:8)
Do not play God’s role in your family. We are not even worthy to be His substitute. When we provide, we become our family’s idols.
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. (Jeremiah 17:5-6)
Rather, let them cry out to the Lord. Let them be soothe with God’s voice securing them that provision is coming. God longs to provide for you and for your family. He is not just capable, but He is willing. He will do it.
For you ladies who are experiencing this season, I pray that God would guard your heart and let His thoughts be known to you. I pray that your “no” to your family will be a “yes” to the Lord. As you close this door, may another door be opened. I speak promotion. in your season. I speak strength, beauty, and joy to dwell in you as continue to be the lady after God’s own heart.