Providing for our families is vital to God’s plan of happiness. The secular welfare of our families should be of paramount importance to ourselves and is of paramount importance to our children. As parents we are obligated to help each other as equal partners in this task. When we agree to become married and parents we are taking on a responsibility of providing for each other. Sadly many boys (I will call them boys because men take care of there families) fail to provide adequately for there families and leave there wives with the burden of doing so.
A friend of mine has been dealing with this very problem for quite a while now. I give her credit as she has been very patient but she is running out of patients at this point. My heart goes out to her as she struggles to provide for her family while she attends school. She has 5 kids at home and a husband who she is trying to support while attending school and not working. He has had numerous jobs in the 2 years we have known this family and has spent more time unemployed than employed. She is at her wits end. She asked my wife to care for her kids rather than leave them with there dad because she was going down town to apply for assistance with moving out of there home and leaving him. She feels that this is the last option available to her. She cannot continue to support him and their 5 kids on her own with no income aside from school funding. I can only imagine the frustration she must feel and anger she must feel at her current circumstances. There marriage is on a swift decline to being over if it is not there already.
Their situation saddens me but serves to highlight what can happen when boys don’t step up to there responsibility’s and become men. We are under obligation to support our wives and children in every secular way possible that is within our means to do so. The Family and Proclamation to the world has declared
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”
This is a responsibility that must not be taken lightly. The proclamation further warns
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
The warning could not be more clear. We will bring calamities and our own condemnation down upon us for failing to provide for our families. My friend through no fault of her own is now facing and dealing with the consequences of her husbands failure to provide for his family. I have no desire to judge this man. I don’t understand what his trials and struggles are or why he has made the choices he has. I can only see the result of those choices and how they have affected his wife and children.
The Apostle Paul once stated when writing to Timothy “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.” (1st timothy 5:8)
Are we denying the faith? are we truly providing for our own? can we do better to provide for our own?
“Fathers, yours is an eternal calling from which you are never released. Callings in the Church, as important as they are, by their very nature are only for a period of time, and then an appropriate release takes place. But a father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity.”
President Harold B. Lee truly stated that
“the most important of the Lord’s work that you [fathers] will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.
What, then, is a father’s specific responsibility within the sacred walls of his home? May I suggest two basic responsibilities of every father in Israel.
First, you have a sacred responsibility to provide for the material needs of your family.
The Lord clearly defined the roles of providing for and rearing a righteous posterity. In the beginning, Adam, not Eve, was instructed to earn the bread by the sweat of his brow.
Second, you have a sacred responsibility to provide spiritual leadership in your family.”
Spiritual leadership is vital to the success of the family unit. As a father in the home you are responsible to ensure that your children are being taught in the gospel of Jesus Christ. You must teach them correct principals and help them understand the importance of living a life in tune with the spirit. This is no easy task. As a father of 3 girls I can testify that at times I have had trouble keeping the spirit with me when I have been frustrated or angry with my children.
In a pamphlet published some years ago by the Council of the Twelve, said the following: “Fatherhood is leadership, the most important kind of leadership. It has always been so; it always will be so. Father, with the assistance and counsel and encouragement of your eternal companion, you preside in the home”
But what does preside in the home mean and how do we as men do so. Preside is to watch over and be a leader in your home. You are to guide and direct the affairs of the family with your wife as your council. This is not unrighteous Dominion. This is leadership and must be done with respect and an eye single to the glory of God. Easier said that done. Sometimes we just get stubborn and want our way. We must be able to step back and see the large picture and ask our wives for help in coming to a decision. She must be as much part of the leadership as you.
When boys won’t live up to these responsibilities they are not men but boys. As is the case with my friend whom we only know about because she opened up to us and has asked us for help with her children while she deals with this trial, her husband has failed to live up to the demands and needs of his family.
We only have the one side of the story, I don’t know the whole picture but the results are no less real. Children suffer when parents can’t work together and when boys don’t step up to become men and take care of there families.
It goes beyond that however we also need to ensure that we are teaching our daughters to look for the kind of qualities that make a Man. My oldest is 10 years old and we have had a few conversations as she is starting to think boys are cute and hot and so forth, (she really likes Asa butterfield from Ender’s Game and Zayne from One Direction), we have talked about the importance of dating only young men when the time comes (hopefully not for another 6 years), that hold themselves to the the highest standards, treat her with respect and are willing and preparing to provide for her and her future children. Anything less than that and he is not good enough for her. There are a lot of nice guys out there but it seems more and more there are fewer and fewer men. It is never to early to start teaching our children about the types of people they should be and the type of people they should want to spend the rest of there lives with.
Men lets be an example to our daughters of the type of man we want them to be with when the time comes. And for those who have son’s lets show them the type of man they should be for there current or future wives. God bless
“No success can compensate for failure in the home”