“Real men provide Real women appreciate it” was a simple message posted on a billboard in Forysth County, North Carolina. 60 years ago such a sign would have been lauded by our communities. But now in our post-feminist culture this message is considered “a sexist comment”.
Molly Grace, a woman who organized opposition to the sign, made this statement:
“The very notion that there should be a man to provide and that no matter what a woman should just plain accept it and appreciate it, is a sexist comment,” said Grace, who is an outspoken critic against the billboard.”
She wants the anonymous person who paid for it to be posted to come to a local panel and “explain why they think the way that they do and try to shed some light on it for us”.
Some people thought the anonymous person who posted the sign was targeting men, not women.
“Donald Amos says he likes the sign and said he believes it’s directed toward men who are not fulfilling their promises.
“A lot of times, women have to go on their own and do this and take the role of a man and a women and it’s not right, but it happens and I think men ought to step their game up. Really they ought to and become men again instead of shoulda, coulda, wannabes,” Amos said.”
Perhaps it would have been considered less “sexist” to feminists if the sign had simply read “Real men provide”. But because the sign implied that real women appreciate men that can provide for them – that cannot be allowed to stand.
Why do some people think that real men should provide and real women should appreciate it?
If you are a person that thinks like Molly let me “shed some light” on this issue for you from the source that some Americans still hold dear and that is the Bible.
The man’s providing role is referenced in multiple passages of the Scriptures.
In Genesis after Adam and Eve sinned God said he would make both Adam and Eve’s primary roles more difficult:
“16 Unto the woman he 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.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, 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;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 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 3:16-19 (KJV)
Woman would experience great pain now in child birth – one of her most important duties in her help meet role to man. It would not so easy for man to provide for his family, but instead he would have to work hard to get what he needed from the earth.
In addition because of woman’s new sinful nature she would make his other very important role, that of leading the home, much more difficult as she would seek to control him and the home instead of submitting to him as God had designed her to do.
But even though God made the man’s duty of providing and the woman’s duty to give birth more difficult he also provide them both with the gift of joy from the pain they had to endure in their labor:
“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”
John 16:21 (KJV)
“There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.”
Ecclesiastes 2:24 (KJV)
In the Law of Moses a man’s provision for his wife was deemed of such critical importance that if he failed to do so his wife could seek a divorce:
“10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”
Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)
The New Testament reaffirms and strengthens the distinct roles of man and woman
The New Testament tells us that a woman’s primary role is to be the bearer of children and the keeper of the home:
“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)
God reiterates his call for men to be providers and protectors to their wives in the Epistle to the Ephesians:
“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”
Ephesians 5:28-19 (KJV)
Husbands are called by God to provide for the physical needs of their wife as they would the needs of their own body. They are also called to protect their wife as they would their own body.
Was the Proverbs 31 woman a career woman?
Many Christians have tried to point to Proverbs 31 to show a defense of women having careers outside the home. There is no doubt that Proverbs 31 shows the woman going out to plant a field or sell in the market. But here is what people miss.
The Proverbs 31 wife did not leave anything undone in her home so as to go outside the home and provide. It tells us of her husband “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…” (vs 11) and that she “She looketh well to the ways of her household…”(vs 27).
Proverbs 31 in no way paints the modern career women we see today. With the schedules that modern career women keep being gone from their home anywhere from 40 to sometimes 50 hours a week there is little to no chance they are also doing 100% of what they should be doing at home. Their duties to their home will slide or be neglected.
But can’t a woman and her husband just split the roles of provider and the duties of the home?
Well if we want to throw out the duties God has assigned to man and woman as well as then entire picture of marriage with man symbolizing God as the leader, PROVIDER and protector of the woman and woman submitting to her husband and serving him by bearing his children, caring for them and caring for the home then sure – it does not matter and husband and wives can split these roles.
But what if the man can’t work?
Because we live in sin cursed world husbands get sick, get disabled or lose their jobs. Sometimes because we live in sin cursed world unforeseen financial events occur where a man must ask his wife to work to provide additional income for their family to survive. These are not the kinds of situations we are talking about in this article. God understands this type of situation.
But what we are talking about here are young couples that marry and PLAN to have the wife be a career woman. We are talking about a man and woman literally agreeing to the fact that she will purposefully not devote herself entirely to her duties to bear children, care for them and care for the home.
These couples actually PLAN to split the duties of husbands and wives between themselves in direct contradiction to God’s design and his commands. There is no excuse for such plans of men and women which go against the very commands of God.
Real men provide
If you are a young man reading this I hope that it will help to show you that our culture has sinned against God in abandoning the gender roles he designed. I hope that you will purpose in your heart that you will not seek marriage to any woman until you can provide for her so that she can dedicate herself fully to the role God has given her as the bearer and nurturer of your future children and the keeper of your future home.
I am not saying you have to be rich when you get married. Please don’t misunderstand me. But you should be able to provide a modest life – with food and shelter. You don’t have to provide brand new cars and a big fancy house. If you can provide for her the basics of life so she can be the homemaker God wants her to be then you are doing what is right before God.
As a young man you should have a plan to further yourself anticipating that as your family grows so too the expenses will grow. This means that while you may be able to marry based on a certain wage you make – you need to plan on how you will provide more in the future as your family needs it.
And in the future should you ever lose your job – asking your wife to work outside the home should be your last resort. If you have to work two jobs to provide –then you should do so.
Real women appreciate a man who will provide for them
If you are one of these young women that were raised by your parents to be independent and not have to depend on a man you need to throw that thinking out in the trash. Your parents may have felt they were doing right by you and just looking out for you in case you don’t find a husband or in case your husband were to divorce you or die.
Yes because of sin in this world we are not always able to live up to God’s design for men, women and marriage. But we should not plan for the failure of God’s plan in marriage due to sin on our part or that of our spouse or the sinful circumstances of this world.
Instead we should plan for success.
As a young lady your goal should be this very goal given to you directly by God through the Apostle Paul:
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)
Will you follow the world’s pattern or God’s pattern?
To young men and women. You must decide before you seek out marriage. Will you follow the world’s pattern of partnership marriage and gender neutrality when it comes to the roles in your family or will you follow the pattern God has established for men and women?
The Bible tells us not to follow our culture when it conflicts with God’s design:
“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 (KJV)
Will you ask God to renew your mind today? To make you the man or woman he has called you to be? To play the role he has called you to? I hope that you will.
And let me tell you something – it will bring peace to your marriage if you follow God’s pattern especially in this area of the man being the provider for the home.
You see God has placed a desire in every man to provide for his woman and his family. For some men it is buried far beneath years of conditioning by our culture, but make no mistake it is there. That is why many men cannot marry a woman who makes more than them. It is not a pride issue, it is a God given man issue.
Its time to blunt about this
Sinful pride and ambition blinds us. When we are ambitious for what God has called us to do as men and women that is a great thing and blessed of God. So when a young man has career ambitions and ambitions of not only having a family and providing for them but also making his mark on the world that is from God himself and it is good. When a young woman has ambitions of marrying a godly man that can fully provide for her and her future children and she has ambitions for caring for those children and her home this again is from God and it pleases him.
But what about men that have ambitions to marry a woman who can provide for them as a man so they can care for the home and children? This ambition is a sinful one because it violates God’s design. What about a young man who has ambitions to marry a career woman knowing he will not be able to fully provide and knowing she will not be able to fully dedicate herself to their home as God wills? Again such an ambition is a sinful and selfish ambition.
Let me conclude with this warning to young couples who want to follow the path God has set forth in the Bible.
You have two choices in this life. You are either called by God to a life of celibacy in his service or you are called to seek out marriage. There are is no choice in between. Now notice I said “seek out marriage” because not everyone will find someone to marry. But if we are not given the gift of celibacy, we are called to seek marriage.
To young men:
If you have not been given the call of God to celibacy in his service and you have a desire to seek out marriage then you cannot seek out a career path that will never be able to fully provide for your future family. If your future plans for marriage involve your future wife having to work to help provide then your future plans are WRONG. Perhaps the career path you are thinking about will eventually be able to provide for a family but at first it will not be able to. Many men pursue apprenticeship jobs in fields that do not make enough to provide for a family but eventually they will. That is ok. But then you must wait for marriage until your career plans come to fruition and you are able to provide for your wife and future children.
And finally to young men – not only should you be able to provide but you should seek out a Christian woman that wants a man that believes he should be able to provide for her. You want a woman that appreciates this conviction and your desire for yourself and your future wife to follow God’s design for men and women.
In other words – don’t marry a career woman. And you know how to NOT fall in love with and marry a career woman? Don’t date one.
To young women:
If you have not been given the call of God to celibacy in his service and you have a desire to seek out marriage then you must not seek out a career. It is one thing to work and save money while you are seeking your future husband. In fact this could be a blessing to your future husband. But you must be able to drop whatever work it is you are doing the moment you find the man God has for you so that you can fully dedicate yourself to serving him in the role God has given you as his helper.
There is no sin in you as a young woman going to college while seeking that man that God has for you. But make sure that this will not saddle your husband with great debt. So that might mean going to a community college where it is more affordable and you can work a part time job and pay off the schooling as you take it. If your parents can pay for a better school while you look than that is fine as well as long as you will not be passing this debt to your future husband.
Your goal whether you go to college or just work a job while looking for him is to come into the marriage with little or no debt or perhaps a small savings from your work that you can bless your husband with as you enter the marriage together.
Seek out a godly man that can also provide for you as God wants every man to do for his wife and children. This is not a matter of “either or” as if you must choose between finding a godly man or a man that can provide for you. If the man you seek to marry truly understands God’s word and wants to live that out he will not want to marry you until he can provide.
I thank God for whomever anonymously paid for that message board. We will need more of those around our country to stir up this conversation and to help bring people back to the design that God has for men and women.