Two women were having a discussion at a hair salon recently, and it got pretty heated. The younger woman did not see anything wrong with her not being engaged in any profitable enterprise, but that was not what surprised the older woman, who insisted that it wasn’t wise for the family to depend on one partner’s income, and it wasn’t prudent for a woman not to have her own money. What was surprising was the younger woman’s declaration that a virtuous woman is meant to mind her home and children, and not be concerned with making money, but content to get by on her partner’s earnings.
She certainly wasn’t talking about the Virtuous Woman, who was hailed in Proverbs 31 as a Capable Wife, whose price is far above rubies! Are you by any chance wondering why you, as a woman, should be engaged in work or business that pays you? Here are a few reasons:
You Are a Person.
Yes, you are a human being. Ecclesiastes 3:13 says “And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labour, for these are gifts from God.” Being a woman doesn’t exclude you or mean that the gift of God doesn’t apply to you. The “virtuous and capable wife” in Proverbs 31 knew this. She went about her various businesses with zest and vigour, and applying her God-given aptitude she invested her earnings, creating multiple streams of income and multiplying her revenue! Have a look:
- “She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.”
- “She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings, she plants a vineyard.”
- She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
- She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants
Man or woman, there is dignity in labour. God has made it so, and is well pleased to see it. Get with the programme.
There is Joy in Building Together
The Proverbs 31 babe knew her priorities. If you study this account of her carefully, you will see that her primary goal in all her labour was to support her husband in building their family. All her gigs and hustles were geared at raising additional income for the family. She worked into the night, but she wasn’t moonlighting to accumulate shoes and handbags or keep up with the Okonkwos. She was supporting her husband’s efforts. But even if your husband insists he doesn’t need any contribution from you…
A few weeks ago, a member of my Blackberry group for wives asked for help in protecting her husband’s ego, while she supported the home financially, as he was temporarily out of work. I remember feeling thankful that she had a job good enough to pay the bills until hubby found a new job. What if she had chosen not to work, since he had a good job? Nobody knows what challenges life may bring. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. (Proverbs 31:11)
I once heard a lovely lady’s account of how her husband ran into armed robbers, and was missing for hours. In those moments, when the police weren’t sure whether he was alive or dead, she said she thought of what little money she had, how she would have to move to the village with the kids, and how they would have to attend substandard schools because she couldn’t maintain their current quality of life with the money she had. God brought her husband back home alive, but she immediately started her own business, which blossomed and is thriving today.
God satisfies us with long life, and shows us His salvation. Your husband may not lose his job; he may decide to go into business for himself. We all know how the early days of business often are, before the money starts rolling in. Wouldn’t it be nice if you’re able to stand by him and support his dreams? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if his capable and virtuous wife, could help him with his seed capital instead of him going out for a loan?
- Marriage Was Designed to Last Forever, but Sometimes It Doesn’t
Lord, have mercy on us; divorce rates within The Body are rising. This is not our portion in the Lord, yet it is a reality many have to face. In cases of domestic violence against a wife, legal separation is recommended to preserve life until the husband gets help through counselling and sometimes rehabilitation. Should she suddenly become a liability to family and friends?
In cases where a godly woman wants to keep her home, but her husband insists on leaving, it is ill-advised for her to force herself on him. Persevering in prayer until he returns is what wisdom suggests. And in the meantime, should she start her life from zero? What about the wife who has found Jesus, but whose husband is still an unbeliever? I’ve witnessed an unbeliever withdraw support from his wife because of her faith in Jesus. I remember wondering about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:15, “But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” I wondered, “What if said husband is her everything? What if she has no job, business or money of her own?”
“She Money” Empowers You
In family systems where resources are pooled and perhaps joint accounts operated, money kept in a wife’s personal account goes by varied name but it’s basically the same thing; “she money” is money hubby knows about but doesn’t get to spend. Why do you need “she money”?
There is a way a marked difference between the charity and giving of a woman who depends on her husband for every dime and that of a woman engaged in profitable enterprise. Even if you both work and keep your money together, you need a place where your own money is safe. You need to be able to give without your left hand knowing. You need to be able to give generously, freely. And you need to be able to treat yourself once in a while without being apologetic or explaining every kobo.
I’ve met women, who are afraid to have their own money. If your marriage is healthy and rooted in the liberty of Christ, why would your husband have a problem with you having your own money? If you consider it out of the question to even mention a personal account to your husband, then you are probably in greater need of your own funds than you realize. There is often a difference between the ideal and reality. Wisdom is profitable to direct.
This is an imperfect life in a broken world. Until Christ comes, the battle continues. So, every woman in Christ must continue in virtue. Submit to your husband, let him take care of you, but ensure that you’re engaged in fruitful labour. Ecclesiastes 7:12 says that money is a defence and rightly so. Money affords you options, whether you think you need some of those options now. Be economically empowered. A wise woman once said, “Don’t let what he brings to the table be all you have to eat.” I agree