Sunday, October 6, 2013

Being the Breadwinner

Being the sole financial provider is tough. Knowing that it's your paycheck alone that pays the bills and keeps food on the table is stressful. Even in our society today that pushes feminism and gender equality, it is still unusual to find a woman being the provider for her household (except in single mom cases). Rarely still do you see an intact family unit with a strong marriage where the man stays home and the woman works. Yet, that is what our family looks like. Now let me be clear: this is not by choice. My husband is by no means a "dead-beat." He would work if his body were in the shape it needs to be to allow that. Unfortunately, arthritic pain keeps him from holding a paying job. I stress the term "paying" because let's face it: as a stay at home dad, he's got a full time job. 

With this strange "mix-up of roles" as some might call it, my sweet other half has struggled with not being a financial provider. I have tried to encourage him countless times that he provides in other very important and necessary ways - um, hello, you're raising our son and he's still alive when I get home. That's an accomplishment! He constantly shows me gratitude for being the one to work and "keep bread on the table." It is in this role that I find myself wondering...if roles were reversed...would I just take it for granted because "that's the way it should be" or would I appreciate him as much as I do now? I guess what I'm trying to get at is this: ladies that get to stay home or only have a part time job because your husband pays all the bills - APPRECIATE HIM! I have many friends that are stay at home moms...and God Bless you! There are days I'm not sure how even my husband does it. Yes, we are smack in the middle of that defiant, independent, ornery stage. But do you appreciate the simple fact that his paycheck pays the bills for you to have that opportunity? Just remember, it could be the opposite. 

And...with that said, I am completely and utterly grateful for the life God has blessed us with. Is it tough to live paycheck to paycheck? Sure. Do I sometimes wish he would experience healing so that he could get a job. Honestly, yes. But God has placed us in these roles for a reason and we have to be mindful not to whine about them or take each other for granted. He may not pay the bills but here's what he does do: takes care of our son each and every day, mows the lawn (even in pain), takes out the trash every week, cooks dinners, washes dishes, does his own laundry, and the list goes on. Sometimes I have to remind him of everything he does do - especially when he focuses too much on what he can't do. 

I also have to remind him...and myself...neither one of us are the true providers. God is. Always has been. Always will be. Not me, not hubby. HE is the PROVIDER. And He supplies all our needs. We may not have finished floors in our bedroom or Florida room, or a working AC unit right now, or a car that doesn't click and clack and squeal...but we have a roof over our heads, and a window unit that's kickin' out some pretty decent air, and the car runs and gets us from point A to point B...and we have each other. I remarked to him the other day that statistically, in relationships that don't put each other ahead of themselves, and don't have Christ as their center, we should have been done already. With all the marriages that end because of financial hardships, we should be finished. But, we're not. We're stronger than ever and with every trial and valley, we just get stronger. 

Being the breadwinner is tough. But realizing that God will always supply what we need and making sure we hold onto each other through whatever comes our way is vital to the peace we feel on a mostly daily basis. God blessed me with an amazing man and even though some may furrow their brow in confusion over why we can be so nonchalant about our situation, we know that God works all things together for good. No matter who the breadwinner is...

Hehe...thought this was cute. 
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