“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Ephesians 5:23
I had an occurrence this week that motivated me to blog about the topic of men being the head of household and what that means. While at Thornton’s as I was pumping gas, the man that was at the pump beside seemed to be overwhelmed and discouraged. As I pumped my gas, he was on the phone. He abruptly got off of the phone and asked me a question. He said, “Excuse me Miss, I see that you are married, can I ask your opinion on something?” I said of course he could. He said, ” If your husband was laid off from his job due to the pandemic after many years of working for one company and being able to provide for the family, would you go out and get a job or would you tell him to make something happen?” I told him that personally I would seek a job to help out but it sounded like in their marriage, it was established that he would be the sole provider. He told me I was right. He agreed when they married 14 years ago that he would always be the main provider and she would never have to work. He then went on his way.
This incident got me thinking, “What makes a man the head of household and what is the significance of this title?” Coincidentally, I have also been reading a book called, 40 Prayers for My Husband by Selena Frederick. https://shop.fiercemarriage.com/products/40-prayers-for-my-husband. On day 17 she has a section entitled, ” For Confidence as Head of our Household.” As I reflected on that occurrence at the gas station, and the reading, I realized that this topic is one that requires discussion.
Of course in this daily devotion, Frederick mentions the title from the Christian persepective. To be exact the prayer that she has written states, ” God, I praise you and thank you for your good and solid design of covenant and how it functions within the roles you’ve laid out for us in your Word. Thank you for creating my husband as the head of household and lead me correctly in my role as his helper.”
So what does that mean——what is head of household? As I further sought clarification, I came across a site for couples that discussed the roles and responsibilities of the husband. There were three key aspects that were mentioned:
- A husband must be proactive – He must be accountable, be responsible, and he must show ownership over the family unit.
- A husband must be the provider – He must work hard, often, and diligently
- A husband must be the protector- He must protect his family at all costs.
Wow…that’s a LOT of responsibility for one person right? When I look at those aspects I think of how men are viewed today in 2021. There is an immense amount of pressure on our men whether they be Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Red, Green….whatever! Our men do not feel respected on their jobs; some like the man I met at the gas station feel disrespected by their spouses and most importantly, men have a hard time expressing their feelings. It is not “manly” to express feelings. So what does this pressure lead to? In my personal opinion this is what leads to the family unit breakdown. If he doesn’t feel respected, he might cheat. If he doesn’t feel valued, he might turn to alcohol, drugs etc. If he feels that society is beating him down, he might bounce from job to job. Therefore, it is our job to eliminate those obstacles as his help mate.
As I further researched for this blog topic, I came across a site that asked women what they thought the role of men were. It was revealing to read some of those comments. I am going to share a few of them with you.
“If you cannot fully support your family, that means take care of ALL of the bills, you don’t get the big piece of chicken or the head seat at the table.”
” This term head of household is just another damn way to keep a man happy and allows him to not be accountable for his responsibilities. You wanna be head of household in the home but a bum in the streets.”
” I’m not willing to degrade myself and play the submissive wifey role just to keep a man in my bed.”
taken from: http://www.marriedwithkids.com
Is this really how we feel about our men ladies? Have you ever thought about how our men are impacted and affected by this impetus in general? I truly did not until I had that moment at the gas station. I truly did not think to review my actions and my outlook until that moment. Change must be made; thoughts revamped, and our behaviors toward one another must be reflective of a union.
Prior to getting married, I had adapted to my own ways. For 8 years, I was the sole provider in my household. I made all of the decisions, I did all of the budgeting, and decided on what was best for my kids. I can’t even lie and say that I consulted with their father after we divorced. I became so used to doing things my way; it was just natural! When I remarried, I had to revise and I do mean totally revise my way of doing things. That type of attitude comes off as brash, unapproachable, and domineering. At first, I would make decisions without consulting my husband. I mean I was just used to doing so. He eventually had to say, “Woah Nellie,” and express how he felt in what I was doing. A union is not one person being made to feel like they are less than the other. A union is not one person telling the other what to do and when to do it. I had to relearn, be reprogrammed, and reevaluate myself.
As a helpmate, we must take the momentum off of our husbands. Regardless of income, looks, and material contribution they must know that they are valuable to the family unit. In my opinion, in 2021 it is too much pressure for one person to be expected to be the main provider and source of income for the entire family. I mean, we are in a pandemic. A LOT has changed in the world. We have to help each other. It takes two; the terms union and equity in a relationship mean everything in a marriage.
So ladies what do you think about this topic? I would love to hear your thoughts. I am including a few close out questions and would like to hear your feedback:
- Do you view your husband as the head of household? What makes him the head of household?
- If you make more income than your husband, does that make you superior to him?
- Investigate the term head of household.
- Is it “just” to depend on our husbands as the main source of income and the main provider?
- Is there anything else that you agree or disagree with in this blog? Please let me know.