"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1Timothy 5:8
I have been married for 16 years and I have always known that my role as husband and father meant that I had to be the Provider. It wasn’t until recently that I gained a true understanding of what that really means. As most men do, I too believed that as a provider it’s my job to keep a roof over our head, buy clothes and put food on the table. While all of these things are necessary, they are just one small part of the role of provider.
Not Just About Money
I was speaking with a brother recently and he shared a major concern of his with me. He told me that despite the fact that he had just purchased a new home, pays all the bills bought his wife a beautiful, brand new car, affords his wife the freedom to shop whenever she wants to, she complains that he doesn’t spend enough time with her because he works so much. The confusion was written all over his face. Now, in his mind he’s thinking “what more could she possibly want? I’m giving her everything she needs! Doesn’t she know that I work this hard to provide for her?” Here in lies the common misconception of provision. While we are busy doing all that we can to give our wives and children what they need, we often neglect to take the time to find out what they want. Believe it or not, it is very possible that this man’s wife would have taken a smaller house and a less expensive car in order to have her husband home with her and the children more often.
Brothers: Stay within your means. It’s wise to start small and grow large over time, like everything else does. Remember that nothing comes easily that is valuable.
Sisters: A man who is saddled down in debt and always trying to please someone who wants more, will never reach his full potential. The Bible says "owe nothing but love" (Romans 13:8)
Money is only part of The Provider’s responsibilities. We must also take responsibility for our own emotional and physical needs in order to be balanced and healthy. This means spending quality time with our loved ones, dealing honestly with anger, developing and staying in vital, nurturing relationships with other men who will encourage us to be our best.
The 3 Levels of Provision
To better understand the role of a provider, I have separated provision into levels. In order for a provider to do his job well he must understand that the levels of provision are not mutually exclusive. Each level depends on the other and each must coexist harmoniously.
Basic Level: At this level we are providing financially. This means that we provide food, shelter, clothing, life and health insurance, tuition, etc. To be successful at this level, a man has to have a legitimate source of income - A.K.A. a job, or self employment! For some this may mean working for minimum wage or working uncomfortable hours. Solomon the wisest of all men said that “all hard work brings a profit.” It is crucial that we learn how to earn and manage money. Make a plan for your financial future and educate yourself in the area of finances so that you will know what options are available to you.
God’s word warns that people perish for a lack of knowledge.
Intermediate Level: At this level we are providing time. Spend quality time with your wife and children because this is essential for providing stability in the home. During this precious time, put aside the distractions of the day and give of yourself to those who need you. This is where a man develops relationships and starts to grow as a man. This is your opportunity to spend time training your children in the ways that they should go and listening to their heart’s desires. Always allow time for you to refresh and restore yourself to be a better provider.
Advanced Level: This level adds the spiritual component to the basic and intermediate levels. Every man must provide spiritually as he is the Priest of his home. In order to do this, time alone communing with God is necessary. Learn more about God by reading and meditating on his Word. Pray with your family, attend church regularly and be actively involved. Minister to those around you in the spirit of love.
The 5 C’s of a Provider
The key to success as a provider can be found in what I call the 5 C’s:
- Christ- He is the model. Seek Him in all that you do. Remember that he provided food for over 5,000 people with only 2 fish and 5 loaves bread. He provided sight to the blind, made the deaf hear, the dumb speak and raised the dead. How fortunate we are that He intercedes on our behalf!
- Character- Having good character simply means doing the right thing at the right time for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do. A true provider never risks his integrity. Know that everything that seems right is not righteous. Everything that looks good is not good for you.
- Consistency- Spend time with your family consistently and provide spiritual enrichment on a regular basis. Develop the habit of completing what you start. Remember to lead by example. Don’t have a “do as I say not as I do” attitude because you will send mixed messages.
- Commitment- Develop a financial plan and stick to it. Having a plan is always essential. No matter how difficult it may seem, stay focused and committed to achieving your goals. Above all else, never abandon your family.
- Communication- You must be able to share your vision and plans clearly and effectively while listening to others with an open mind and an open heart.
As you can see no one thing makes a man a provider. Provision in its totality involves time, money, strategic planning and most of all love.
About The Author - Kendall Ficklin
Kendall Ficklin can be reached at: email@example.com
or call (770) 256-1486. Visit The MenExchange at: www.menexchange.com