Corrie, who loves the ways of the Lord, wrote a comment on my Facebook page supporting a post I had written. Then “Lauren” responded to her comment this way: “Yes, I’d love to be able to rely on a man and not contribute or make my own money to feel independent.” Corrie then asked the women in the chat room, “Why the need for independence? To be independent from your husband is to go against God. Even the connotation of independence seems to be in rebellion of the Bible. It’s like you are saying you need no one in life, not even Christ.”
A woman wrote to me the other day and told me she was proud of raising three independent daughters who will be able to take care of themselves financially, therefore, not be in need of husbands. Is this a good thing and something to be “proud” about? Is this how God requires that we raise our daughters and can any of you find Bible verses that commands we do this?
Here are the responses to Corrie’s comment from the wise women in the chat room:
Paige: It is definitely rebellion. And sadly it is due in part to our individualistic society. Everything is about self, whereas in other cultures, the emphasis is the family unit – mom, dad, grandparents, extended family.
Helen: Women today HATE to feel dependent on anyone. They want to make their own money so they don’t feel beholden to anyone or have to rely on anyone for their ‘bed and board.’
Molly: Yes, we are to be dependent on our husbands who are to be our heads. It is a safe and fulfilling place to be, however, it goes against what girls are taught today. Lori is counter cultural because she teaches that we are to respectful of our husband’s calling and role.
Lindsay: It’s silly to claim that a woman staying at home and caring for her home and children is not contributing. They’re assuming these things don’t count and only making money is a contribution. Yet caring for the home and children is a huge contribution. Someone has to care for these things, and if the couple doesn’t do them, they have to pay someone else to do them. Plus, no one is going to care for the children like their own mother, so there’s the quality of care to consider as well as the cost. When a woman stays home, she is dependent on her husband financially, but he is dependent on her to care for the home and children. That’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. A couple needs to depend on one another. If they aren’t doing that, why in the world are they married?
Katie: I think it stems from lack of trust. Also, so many of us have divorced parents or absent fathers, so because we couldn’t rely on our fathers for one reason or another, we mistrust men in general. Before I was saved, I had the same mistrust. I put all my effort into becoming financially independent, so I didn’t need to rely on a man. I achieved my goal but it felt so empty.
Taylor: If I’m not contributing, I wanna know why I’m so tired!
Jessica: My stepdaughter just said the same type thing. I’m sure her mother has drilled into her to never trust a man; you can’t depend on one. Society shoves it down everybody’s throat too. We live in a sad world.
Rachel: While growing up, it was drilled in my head that one should not depend upon a man. One should get a degree, and a man wouldn’t want to have a woman who was lazy. And where we live in California, even health and human services drilled messages through ads at the movie theater to teenagers that families need two incomes.
Likewise, growing up with a divorce rate of 50% – watching everyone’s parents getting divorced – it reinforces that message. Having the personal experience of losing my dad as a teenager to a heart attack, two friends in high school lost their dads to heart attack and aneurysm, then friends in college lost their dads to suicide (two different friends). There’s a lot of reasons why people do what they do, and why they have trouble trusting God. Some ideas are so ingrained into your consciousness, it takes God, faith, and a whole lot of courage to go against an upbringing and experience.
Likewise, I also have the added perspective of the life we are living…Not easy, but doable, and God has blessed us with all that we need. Truly amazing. I hope all women with the desire to have good, loving husbands who support them and the desire to have children may be so blessed by God, and I hope God may supply all their needs too.
Rachel: I’m not sure this woman, Connie, feels so obviously defensive. It would be hard to go through life distrustful in a marriage, feeling like one’s contribution were directly tied to a monetary contribution, and that the option to stay at home and be happy in a traditional role was not a possibility – either because the concept of marriage or trust in man is so broken or having a feeling of poverty in one’s life. What happens at the end of one’s life, when one is infirm and cannot work? Does their life become less meaningful or worthy of life? It’s a deep and painful question to deal with. I’d wish her well and pray for her.
Brittney: I’d be curious to know if this woman goes to work for a man. Does she not rely on her male manager to make decisions for her and tell her what to do? Where a SAHM makes many independent decisions daily for her family because her husband has entrusted her to do that. To me, the latter seems more “independent.”
Helen: People also mistakenly believe you are only “contributing” to the family if you bring hard cash into the coffers. Those other contributions to the family as Lindsay and others have talked about are equally valuable. It’s a sad day when only a paycheck equals contributing.
“The decline of the family as the primary haven in a heartless world, the growth of individualism, and the retreat from community loyalty and dependence have made it increasingly difficult for anyone to achieve an adequate sense of belonging in a hostile, fragmented world” (Dr. Archibald Hart).
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1 Corinthians 11:9