Should A Father Give Up His Career for His Children?

“How does a father provide for his children when his [ex] wife abandoned him? She returned to live with her mother. She took the kids without the father’s consent. Both the children and husband were deceived. She did not leave her parents and cleave to her husband, who moved the family, so he could best provide for his family. She didn’t like moving from her mother, and returned to her, thus abandoning and taking the children. My question is, does he pick-up from his stable career and leave his job, which provides for his children, to find employment near his children? He is struggling because he can better provide in an area where affluent jobs are abundant. Whereas if he returns to the area where his children, he is forced to find employment well below his earning potential (very rural America). What does God want the father to do? Is it more important for the father to be present in the children’s lives or more critical for him to be the provider for his children? Her abandonment turned the family upside down. Now the husband is being forced to make decisions, as the leader, to return to an area where gainful employment is scarce. There was no abuse, gambling, etc. from the husband. Please advise with relevant scripture, so that I do God’s will, not mine.”

This comment was recently sent to me by a man calling himself Darrin.

The sad reality of a post-feminist world is that the scales are massively tilted toward women.  Our modern society no longer recognizes a man’s God given ownership over his wife and his children.  So, in this sin-cursed and upside-down world what is a Christian man to do? Below is my answer to Darrin and other good men who face this type of wicked situation.

Should You Give Up Your Career for Your Children?

The first thing you need to do is focus on is why God created you.  The purpose for your creation as a male human being is shown in the Scripture below:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

1 Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

You were created by God to image him and thereby bring him glory. Your masculine human nature is meant to picture God’s nature.  And one of the ways you image God is in your career.

A Man’s Career Is A Defining Aspect of His Masculinity

 Your competitiveness and your desire to make your mark on the world in your career is part of the masculine image of God within you.  The Bible says the following things about a man and his work:

“Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.”

Psalm 104:23 (KJV)

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”

Psalm 22:29 (KJV)

“Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.”

Ecclesiastes 5:18 (KJV)

“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.”

Proverbs 24:27 (KJV)

A man’s career is a defining aspect of who is he is as a man.  That is why the first thing men ask each other is “What do you do for a living?”  Our careers as men define us.  They give us something to strive for, something to be diligent in and compete in.  But they also give us the ability to do something else that is crucial for us as men.  Our careers give us the ability to provide for our families.

I know the couple times I have been laid off from my job were some of the most miserable times in my life.  As men it hurts us to our core when we cannot properly provide for our families.  And that is by God’s design that we are so driven in this area.

Our provision as men for our wives and our children pictures God’s provision as a husband to his wife and as a father to his children as seen in the following Scriptures:

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:29 (KJV)

“9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

Mark 7:9-11 (KJV)

It is not the man who is called to be a keeper at home, but rather the woman

It is not your place as a man to spend the vast majority of your time in your home or with your children.  God has given that role to women.

“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)

A man is called to rule over and teach his children, not spend all his time with children:

“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity”

1 Timothy 3:4 (KJV)

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)

Conclusion

Darrin, you can still be a presence and have a relationship with your children without physically being there all the time with them.  I have known some men in your same situation, the wife took the kids back to the home state and the father could not leave the state he was in or they would all be impoverished.     So, these men see their kids for 4 weeks in the summer and fly to see them a few times in between like around Christmas and other holidays.  But here is the very important part.  While they are not physically with their children, they are regularly, multiple times a week calling them on their phone and doing video calls with them. 

And in this way, they are able to talk with their children about their daily lives and pour spiritual advice into their lives.  They also regularly send their children gifts and make sure they are properly provided for.

For mothers the quantity of time in their children’s life is crucial especially at a young age.  But for fathers it is not the quantity, but rather the quality of the time spent with their children that is so crucial. 

A woman’s mission from God is her husband, her children and her home.  But for a man, his wife, his children and his home are only a part of his larger mission.

The Scriptures tell us in 1 Corinthians 11:9 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” and in Psalm 127:3 we read “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward”.    

You as a male human being were NOT made for your wife or your children.  You were made for God to bring him glory by imaging him with your life (1 Corinthians 11:7).

So, the answer to your dilemma is you continue in your career where you are while at the same time using all your available resources to have as much of a presence as possible, even if virtual, in the lives of your children.