Of blus­ter and bill­boards

The Catoosa County News - - WORSHIP DIRECTORY - Bo Wag­ner

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 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

Evan­ge­list and au­thor

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