Men's Ministry: Christian Men as Providers

Relying on God as an Example of Provision

Deacon Tending to the Church
Ask a man to describe his idea of Paradise and doubtless many lush and multicolored tropical settings come to mind. Spectacular waterfalls, crystal clear pools of water, sandy beaches under sunny blue skies, reclining on a cushy chaise lounge and sipping from a glass of ice-cold something-or-other. Usually a man's first thought of Paradise is relaxation, doing nothing but contemplating the shapes of clouds.

This, however, was not God's plan for Paradise. In Eden, God gave man work to do. In spite of what a man might wish he could do, there's only one thing that a man can actually do hour after hour after hour, and that is work. A man can work at a desk in an office all day, or drive a truck all day, or paint a building, hammer nails, cook meals, sell clothes or do any number of jobs all day long. God gave the garden to Adam and the job "to dress it and to keep it."(Gen. 2:15) Adam was to work the ground, and care for, watch over and guard the garden.

Adam's work assignment was given before Eve came on the scene. Man had a God-given mission to work and produce something of value; something he could be proud of. Although there have always been everyday tasks and responsibilities in the home, often under the supervision of the woman, man's primary duty has been to provide for his family and household. All through the Bible, and all throughout history, the innumerable efforts of mankind have usually been the source of his income. All work is considered honorable, as long as it is legal, and does not harm or exploit other people.

It is of great importance to a man to know that his earning capability will keep his family out of the grip of poverty. Certainly he wants the satisfaction of a job well done, or a product made with excellence. But even if a job is not enjoyable or fulfilling, there is a certain sense of peace he receives from knowing that there is food in the cupboards and that the bills are being paid. He willingly accepts the honorable duty of his family's financial needs and physical comfort.

Men should not resent getting up and going to work. It is a blessing to be thankful for, whatever the job may be. This doesn't mean that the wife cannot work and contribute financially. However, the man must be the initiator and general manager. The overall administration of the household matters should be his responsibility, and if the wife works outside of the home, it is best if it is by mutual agreement, with all other household duties shared.

Being a provider is more than supplying housing, food and paying bills. It is offering protection, love, counsel, comfort, encouragement, strength, and oftentimes handyman skills. More importantly, the man needs to impart spiritual direction, pastoring and prayer.

Scripture proves that God is the true provider and that men are to rely on the promises and example of the Heavenly Father when it comes to caring for his family. Genesis 22:14 shows that God is the giver: "God is the Lord who sees and provides." According to 2 Corinthians 9:8, He "will generously provide all you need," and Philippians 4:19 says that God "will supply all your needs from his glorious riches." Finally, 1 Timothy 6:17 says reminds Christians that God wants to bless as He "richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."

Written by: Pete Miller