Are Men Commanded to Be the Providers?

Are Men Commanded to Be the Providers?

A woman asked me if there was more than just one verse that states men are to be the providers of their families. The verse she referenced is found in 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Yes, there is!

Let’s go back to the beginning of time, right after the Fall, when God gave the man and woman the consequences of their sin. Here is the one he gave the man:
“Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;…In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:17, 19). And to the woman, God said, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16). The man is clearly to be the provider and toil in the soil, while the woman’s life is to revolve around her children and husband, as she was created to be his help meet.

Later in God’s Word, we read the verses about only men going out to war. The women were home with their children. The men in the Old Testament were the Judges (with the exception of one), Priests, Kings, Patriarchs, and even the Proverbs 31 woman’s husband was “known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land” (Proverbs 31:23) while she was known for “looking well to the ways of her household.”

In Deuteronomy 24:5, we are told this about a newly married man: “When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.” Then in Ecclesiastes 9:9, “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.” These verses clearly show us men’s place in society.

In the New Testament, there were some women who made money but, most likely, they worked in or around their homes which is where they are called to work. The first verse I listed above clearly shows that men are to provide for their own households and Gill’s Exposition Commentary wrote this about that verse: “But if any provide not for his own… Not only for his wife and children, but for his parents, when grown old, and cannot help themselves.”

In 1 Timothy 5:4, we are told this: “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.” So if a widow has children or NEPHEWS… It could have easily said, “children or nephews or nieces…” but it didn’t.

Besides these, there is nothing that commands women to be the providers. Older widows are to be taken care of by the relatives and/or churches and younger widows are to marry, bear children, and guide the home. Older widows aren’t known for having careers but “Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work” (1 Timothy 5:10). Younger women are to be taught to be “keepers at home.”

Therefore, taking the Scriptures as a whole, we can see God’s plan for women and men is different and good. When women decide to leave their God ordained ministry in their homes and pursue careers instead, they are actually taking the man’s curse upon themselves. Yes, there are exceptions but these don’t negate what God’s perfect will is for us. As believers in Jesus Christ, we do our best to obey Him and leave the results with Him!

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

13 thoughts on “Are Men Commanded to Be the Providers?

    1. I agree 100% LOR! The Lord never intended for women to be providers. As godly and obedient wives, we should always lift our husbands up by encouraging them and showing them our gratitude and appreciation for everything they provide for us. For those of us that have always been taken care of by our husbands, we sometimes unintentionally forget how grateful we should be for the love, care, guidance and leadership they provide each day without even having to think about it. I am totally and completely dependent on my husband and wouldn’t want it any other way.

  1. A few other Scriptures come to my mind: Genesis 2:5, 15 and Psalm 104:23.

    I’m glad you pointed out women taking the man’s curse upon themselves; that is, eating bread by the sweat of their faces when they pursue an occupation. It makes no sense that women would do this. Why would anyone bring a curse upon herself? This shows how illogical feminism is.

    Since so many women are in the labor force, many men are forced out of work, sometimes for long periods of time, and end up retreating, thinking they are unneeded.

  2. Amen!
    God is very clear as to the different rolls of men and women! We muddy up the waters when we kick against GOD and his word!
    Good article! Thank you!

  3. Yes. There is even the whole discussion of the kinsmen redeemer in the Old Testament. Even if some women had to literally glean food, they were not responsible for the purchase and sowing of food. The men of the family were to provide for the women.

    Also we can tell from the discussion in Leviticus that widowed or divorced women were also to be provided for by their fathers (not mothers).

  4. Hello Lori, I recently discovered your blog and I just wanted to thank you so much. You have much wisdom and insight. So I’ve recently graduated from high school and I have been debating whether I should go to college or not. You’ve said before that women are to be keepers at home, can you give me any advice on what I should do. I’ve been considering a career in medicine as a doctor but I don’t know if that will be feasible. I would love to get married soon and have children but my mom and many of my peers tell me that I should just focus on school and become a doctor. I love science and medicine from what I’ve experienced, but I just don’t know what I should do. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Shary – if as you say you would like to get married soon and have children, then I would strongly urge you to follow your heart and take the path for which God made you.

  5. Lori,
    First of all I just have to tell you, I bought your book “The Power of a Transformed Wife” two days ago, it came in yesterday, and I have not been able to put it down! It has been, hands down, the most relatable piece of writing I have ever read. It is already changing my marriage as we speak. Thank you Thank you for helping me. God is working within me, I can feel it right now. I have never felt more confident in my role as a wife and as a homemaker. I am feminine and I love it !

  6. I need prayer to continue being the keeper at home God has blessed me to be now. It is very different from the cultural norms of our society and at times I feel lonely, but I believe this is what God has called me to do.

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