Of bluster and billboards
doesn’t make much sense. What woman wants to support a deadbeat, lazy husband?
“But wait!” cries the angry voice of an offended personage, “real women are capable of providing too!” Correct. But the sign didn’t say “ONLY men provide.” That has to be assumed and inserted in order to achieve a reason for offense. The Bible itself never says “only men provide.” The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 traded in real estate. Priscilla worked beside her husband Aquila as a tent maker. Lydia was a seller of purple. Deborah was judge over all of Israel.
Stripped of all of the hysteria, the message of the sign is a good one. Men and ladies often provide for their families, but God will hold men especially accountable for doing so. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “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.”
Truthfully, manhood in our day has fallen into some pretty serious disrepair. Sir, if you father a child, it is your duty before God to provide for that child in every way. You are to heed it, feed it, and lead it. Any man who produces a child and then leaves a woman to fend for herself in raising that child cannot rightfully call himself a real man. Even a boy can produce a child; it takes a real man to be a father to it.
Sir, if you marry a woman, she ought to be able to expect you to work and bring home the paycheck, whether she works or not. Yes, I know there are sometimes circumstances where for a time those roles need to be reversed, but the general truth is that no man should be lazy and negligent of his duties.
As for the “real women appreciate it” part, when did appreciation become a bad thing? A woman appreciating the hard work a man does to provide for a family in no way diminishes her worth or ability; all it does it give him the motivation he needs to punch the time clock day after day.
I fear that, in the great push for “equality,” the pendulum is now swinging to a wildly unhealthy place, a place where men are actually being given a pass for not doing what they ought to be doing. That is a great shame, and a generation of girls are likely to be much the worse off for it, as they struggle to find what was once pretty common: men of character.
I am not defending the person who put the billboard up, since I have no idea who did it, or what their purposes were. I just know that, based on the actual words themselves compared with good common sense and what Scripture demands of a man, the bluster over this billboard seems entirely unwarranted.
Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mooresboro, N.C., a widely traveled evangelist, and author of several books, including a kid’s fiction book about the Battle of Chickamauga, “Broken Brotherhood.” He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evangelist and author