Written By Michael Pearl
Is it normal for wives of Visionary men to face homelessness? My husband has not worked at all for 2 years. Our car died and there is no money to fix it. Our savings are almost gone. We are very behind on our rent, and my husband has made it clear that he does not want me trying to get any kind of government assistance. Nor does he want me asking him any more work-related questions of any kind. He wants to work from home and will not consider doing any kind of other work to make ends meet. I am really trying to keep my mouth shut but am struggling as of late. We will be facing eviction soon. My parents live very close by and are aware that my husband is either sleeping or on the computer. My mom doesn’t say anything but often offers us food, which is well-received. I make a small amount of money working from home, but it is not enough to keep us afloat.
Should I just quietly allow this to happen to us? I wouldn’t worry about it so much if our children were not so young. They are 4, 2, and 1. My husband is not a Christian, but I love him and think he is a good man, but he is making me crazy! If you have any advice on what I can do, please let me know.
Your problem is part of a growing epidemic that can’t be blamed on the economy. God tells us in I 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.”
In Micah 4:4, God reminds us, “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree…”
Clearly God meant for every man to work and provide for his household. So you and God are agreed, but that doesn’t mean your husband is going to jump up and get a job just because you tell him what God has said. So, what is a wife supposed to do? Basically nothing—nothing in word and nothing in deed. Just stay cheerful and loving. Your situation is better than most, for you have parents who, while not pushy, are willing to help. First, thank God for that wonderful mercy.
The Apostle Paul dealt with this issue in the early church. He reminded the Thessalonica church, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3:10–12). It is certainly not your responsibility to keep him from eating, but neither is it your duty to bail him out of his laziness. Tell your mom how much you appreciate her generous offerings of food, but ask her to give foods that only the little ones will eat. Make the food plain and basic. Slip over once a day with the children but without your husband and eat heartily. When there is no money available, allow your own kitchen cabinets to become bare.
The best thing a woman can do is allow the situation to come to a head as quickly as possible. Don’t be an enabler by seeking further income. As long as he can keep the family together in any dwelling and provide food, continue to cheerfully follow his lead.
But what if a worst case scenario develops and you are evicted and find yourself homeless with no place to go but the streets or a homeless shelter? That puts your children in danger.
There is an example in Scripture that is often overlooked. In 1 Samuel 25 we read of a woman named Abigail who was married to a man who offended David by refusing to feed his hungry men. When Abigail heard what her husband had done, she knew their lives were in danger. So, without her husband’s knowledge, she directed the servants to prepare food for the 600 men and hastily deliver it. David received the food and readily acknowledged that she had saved him from shedding blood. When Abigail’s husband suddenly died of divine/natural causes, David took her to be his wife.
If your husband’s actions put your children in real danger—not just discomfort or inconvenience—you should protect the children by respectfully disobeying your husband. To broaden the subject for our readers, the same would be true if a drunken husband commanded a wife and children to ride in the car while he drove. Respectfully disobey. Likewise, if a husband commands a wife to leave her children in the care of questionable babysitters, follow your maternal instincts.
If your present circumstances deteriorate to the point of homelessness, I suggest that you quietly arrange ahead of time for your parents to invite you and the children, but not your husband, to come and live with them. Let him live in a homeless shelter until he can provide a home for you and the girls. If he insists that you live with him on the streets, tell him your children come first and you will take them to your parents, dreaming of the day when he has a place for the family to be united. Perhaps you could have your parents invite him for dinner and a conjugal visit once a week but not to stay the night. Sometimes a man needs to lose his comfort zone (computer and TV) to appreciate his responsibility to maintain that zone. Most women make the mistake of jumping in and providing, and then they become bitter toward their lazy husbands.
I know I am going to get a lot of flak for this. If you have a better answer, I would like to hear it. We will publish worthy answers that vary from my own. I am glad God made me a husband and not a wife. Every woman deserves to be loved and cherished, and every child deserves to be protected and nurtured. Some husbands deserve to be whipped, but that, dear lady, is God’s job, not yours.
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.
1 Timothy 5:8