It’s defined as, “the action of providing or supplying something for use.” And, the more I’ve grown, the more I’ve realized how BIG this qualification is on people’s relationship checklists.
People still have those? Sadly, yes. And if they’re too prideful and socially correct to admit they have a checklist, they simply water down their rigid standards and call it a “type”. Apparently it’s still okay to project our insecurities into a “type”.
Most every woman has ‘ability to provide’ in beautiful, bold, cursive print on her mental checklist of needs from a man. And while I understand that this want is deeply ingrained in our inherent design, I think it’s time that the majority of women start admitting what they really mean…
ABILITY TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY.
Enough money to allow you to live comfortably. Enough money to potentially allow you to live lavishly. Enough money that you won’t have to face the stress and tension of financial woes during your marriage. Enough money that you won’t have to work, but maybe can if you choose. Enough money that you can escape to the beach on a long weekend–better yet, enough money that you can just have a beautiful beach house. (After all, carrying that luggage back-and forth each time is such a hassle.) Enough money that you can afford to try all the new restaurants. Enough money that you can afford to drive the right type of car so people you visit or valet services you pull up to will know you make enough money. Or the best one of all, enough money that you can ‘be a good steward’ of the funds and finally have enough to be philanthropic and charitable. Because “enough money” is clearly a requirement for generosity, right?
If a bullet-point on your checklist is “ability to make a lot of money”, that’s fine. It’s YOUR checklist. But do yourself, and every man who tries to court you, the favor of being honest and taking the lipstick off the pig. STOP trying to disguise your desire for WEALTH under the blanket of “provision”.
When we cheapen the incredible expanse of “provision” to the isolated detail of “wealth”, it’s like missing the masterpiece of a Monet because your zoomed in on a single stroke of paint.
Provision is extensive and unique. Believe it or not, it stretches far beyond your bank account. When you focus your full attention on seeking a man who can provide for you financially, you draw focus and discernment away from finding a partner who can provide for you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Then you moan and complain when you are stuck in a relationship where all your partner cares about is work…and that he never spends enough time with you…and that he doesn’t meet your emotional needs…and that you feel like you have nothing in common. You gain the financial security at the expense of your emotional security. But isn’t the beach house what you always wanted?
I’m going to be the bad guy for saying this, but women, you are bringing this epidemic upon yourselves in many ways. Stop pointing the finger at men for not making you “happy” enough, when YOU set the requirement for your happiness when you wrote your checklist…then eventually realized your naivety and changed your mind.
It’s time we begin rewiring our brains and opening our hearts to the value of the other 99% of provision. His ability to encourage you when you feel like giving up. His ability to make you feel beautiful when you feel insecure. His ability to lead you spiritually and challenge you to grow in your walk with the Lord. His ability to make you laugh and smile and sing. His ability to resist temptation and steer clear of situations he knows are not right. His ability to fight for you and protect you when you’re under attack. His provision of honesty and communication. His eager willingness to proudly bring you around his friends and family. His ability to surprise you in the simplest ways. His ability to courageously ask you the hard questions and navigate through the struggles of your relationship without shutting down and tuning out. His ability to provide you with his time, attention, and energy–even when it is not convenient for him. His ability to forgive you when you make a mistake. His ability to ask forgiveness when he does. His ability to show you grace when you deserve far less. His ability to listen to you. His constant provisions of “I love you’s”. His ability to go out of his way to work hard to meet your needs–without complaint or gripe or moan. His ability to break a sweat and work on little sleep and constantly serve you. And above all else, his ability to provide strength in the many facets of your weakness. Because, honey, there are many.
A few of you are going to argue with me. I know you already are in your mind.
“Mo, men have been the breadwinners and financial providers for centuries.”
“Mo, there is nothing wrong with wanting a man who makes a good living. It’s possible to have it all.”
“Mo, the man’s role is to financially provide for his family–to put food on the table and a roof over the family’s head. IT’S BIBLICAL!”
You’re right. Men have been the primary breadwinners for centuries. There isn’t anything wrong with desiring the man to work hard and make a good living. The structure of a family has taken shape with the working man and the child-rearing woman. That is all biblical.
But I’ll tell you what else is biblical, and what is mentioned FAR more times in scripture…
Seeking FIRST the Kingdom of Heaven. (Not excess riches here on earth.)
Loving others fully, completely, and relentlessly. (Not predetermined by their bank account or job status.)
Giving, rather than receiving. (Being generous when generosity is painful and hard.)
Self-sacrifice, surrender and compassion. (Understanding you may need to pick up the slack in tight times.)
Encouragement, accountability and support. (Encouraging your partner to pursue PASSIONS, not dollar signs.)
Not being a lover of money, but rather, a lover of the weak. (Loving them wherever they are at, monetarily.)
Loving others like God first loved us.
There is no checklist that you must meet to receive God’s love. So why have you compiled a checklist to show His love to another?
The other day I stumbled across a video that displayed the greatest picture of God’s love that I have seen in a long time. We live in a society that ranks a man’s ability to provide at the top of the totem pole. Even many Christians I know justify a man’s ability to provide as paramount–as if it is a necessity to display God’s love, fully.
I wish those Christians would watch this video. See this depiction of God’s true love. Then reassess the requirements before they ever offer advice again.
You can read more about this story here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/why-we-got-married