Not too long ago I bought a milk cow from a young dairy farmer. He was selling out and moving. His farm was beautiful rolling hills dotted with Holsteins. I had my choice of probably a hundred cows. As we walked, I imagined his kids flying kites, catching frogs and coming home dirty and tired every night right before dark. A hundred cows take a while to walk through so it wasn't a quick trip.
His wife joined us while we were walking and as we talked the conversation led to why they were quitting...
He shook his head and looked off into the distance.. "I need to drive truck for a while, to pay a few bills, and she just doesn't want to help me anymore."
She stood there, arms folded tight against her chest, staring at the same unknown spot on the horizon.. she didn't deny it but simply said. "This was his dream, not mine. I'm going back to my career."
There was a deep, hurting sigh from the farmer and I stood there feeling like an intruder as I watched an unspoken conversation take place between the two. After what felt like an eternity of silence I asked about her career choice.
"I have the chance to become a manager at McDonald's and I am going for it."
Ladies, this is going to show you what a horrible excuse for a Christian I am... because I simultaneously wanted to give her a big motherly hug and ....I also wanted to slap her upside her head....hard.... the battle was real. I did neither. Go Shell!
Then it was my turn to let out a big sigh... I couldn't help it. This man sitting in his field with his hopes and dreams laying in a crumpled heap all around his feet. And her. We can give her some excuses. It's just the age she's been raised in, her lack of biblical knowledge.. her will. Maybe he is just a big, fat jerk. Maybe she doesn't like cows. Not one of those excuses lessens the pain she is causing her family. Not one of them validates her behaviour.
We stand around and lament that men aren't men anymore... good heavens, ladies, let's give them some real women and see what happens.
In an instant I watched those same tired, dirty kids move from sitting in the cow bunks to sitting on the couch at some daycare, playing video games and popping pills for their ADHD while she handed greasy fries and overpriced burgers to strangers who didn't even bother to look up from their phones to say thank you.
Would my opinion have changed if she would have said Lawyer? Doctor? ... No.
and I know there are some men who ask their wives to work outside their homes. I'm not talking about working at home or away.... I'm talking about vision.
they were created for greatness. It. Is. In. Them. It's in you. And while each person can achieve a certain level of greatness on their own. When a man and a woman enter into a covenant relationship together, they become one flesh. One team. Every good team has a team leader and teams only win when they work together towards the same goal.
Don't punish your family.
To be drawn and quartered was a punishment ordained in England for treason. They would take the condemned person, tie him to horses and send those horses running in different directions thus ripping his body mercilessly apart. It is considered the epitome of cruel punishment. Ladies, we draw and quarter our families when we pull against our man.
Let's contrast that with the words of our Lord in Ecclesiastes,
The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.
Better is an handful with quietness. than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
Then I returned, and saw vanity under the sun.
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king.
Stand with your man. It is better to live a quiet and poor life at your man's side than it is to have the best career in the world, live like a king and leave your children to their own devices. Money is temporary and replaceable. If you took all the money you have and burned it today, tomorrow you could earn more. For all that matters, you can steal more (please don't) or find more... money is always available. always somewhere. That man that lays beside you each night and those children across the hall? They are irreplaceable. They are God's gift to you and your gift to the world.
Do you ever wonder why in Proverbs 31 when the Lord is extolling all the character qualities of a virtuous woman one of them is "Her husband is known in the gates"? Because she put him there. She freed him to be a leader by lifting instead of dragging, by praying instead of nagging, she stood on her own two feet and became a woman of strength by becoming the woman of her man's dreams. He owed her everything, and he knew it.... and a few verses down we find he praised her for it and so did her children.
Did the Lord give you a business mind? Skills? Talents? Why would you ever waste them building a stranger's empire? Get behind your man... square your shoulders, my dear, and boost. See his vision and give it all you've got. Oh, it'll be hard work, I know. Some of it isn't going to be any fun.
We will be exhausted and some days reduced to tears. But let's give that man of ours a wink even through the tears. Give our children the ultimate picture of a strong woman by filling their lives with peaceful joy. That trail that our fella is trying to lead us down? Let's jump on it with both feet, girlfriend, and let's keep trusting in God because he has great things planned for us.