“Some things are only real if you believe in them” Unknown Please follow the story
“Marrying a good man could easily mean that 50% of your life’ s worries are solved. But with a bad one, you would have inherited an additional 50% of worries.”
Each time we hear the word ‘scarcity’, what comes to mind is something not enough, in short supply or available in small/limited quantities and more often than not, difficult to obtain. Scarcity could also be as a result of lack of production or inadequate production of something. A clichéd view is that “husbands are expensive in town.” Funny enough, the word ‘husband’ literarily refers to the good men, hence it is not a term to be taken lightly, especially in marriage.
Who is a husband and what are his roles in the family?
A husband is a man that a woman is married to or a married man. His roles in the family can be summarized into 3 which are:
- To protect
- To provide
- To love
But in order not to lump his responsibilities, they can be further broken down in clearer terms.
The Protector: He ensures that his wife is not harmed, injured or damaged. He makes his wife feel safe and secure. He acts as her guardian physically, mentally, emotionally and physiologically. He leads his wife not as a boss but as a guide and respects her dignity both within and outside the home. No wonder he is referred to as the HEAD of the family.
The Provider: He makes things available for use, fulfils her needs and wishes. He is the bread winner. If his wife is able to contribute anything, it’s a blessing or an addition for him as that becomes part of the favour he enjoys for finding a wife.
The Lover: He treats her well, spends time with her, patient with her and loves her unconditionally while being there for her always. Allowing her opinion to count is also a love characteristic to his wife.
In other words, a husband is genuinely involved in the family.
Every time we hear that the husband is the head of the home, we need to understand the meaning and concept of ‘headship’.
The Head: In the body of a human being, the head is the most conspicuous part. It houses the sense organs which are the eyes, nose, tongue, ears and skin, even though the skin is all over the body. These sense organs are responsible for the normal functioning of the body. Every human being is identified by their head and it also decides the beauty of a person. The head houses the brain which is responsible for every other action taken by the body. When a person has headache, every other body function is affected or better still, headache is a symptom of something wrong in the body. Cut off the head and a person is dead. In other words, someone with a faulty body part can still manage or get an artificial replacement, certainly not the head.
So when a husband is termed the Head of a home, it should never be taken lightly. It is responsibility to the core and not a title. The head is not meant for decoration, neither should any husband be a husband by mouth. It is work and a God-given responsibility.
The Curse: We understand from scriptures that when Adam and Eve sinned against God, God placed a curse on mankind.
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing: with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”
To the man he said, “Cursed be the ground because of you: through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken: for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Gen 3:16-19 (NIV)
The women folk have been bearing their burden indeed in childbirth but because of the failings of husbands over the generations, wives have been forced to acquire the men’s burden with theirs. Women have been forced to take bold steps in being bread winners, pillars and backbones in their families while entitled men just want to sit and be claiming head without fulfilling their responsibilities.
These days, we see men wanting to have a wife but omitting the responsibility part. They want their wives to share in the financial responsibilities at home (men’s burden) but they haven’t been able to share in the woman’s pains of childbirth. No wonder there is so much imbalance, confusion and chaos in homes and the society at large.
The wife who is supposed to be the care giver has found herself also carrying the burden of providing for the family while the supposed provider is nowhere to be found. Many husbands have forgotten that the head is not meant for decoration but to function. What we see which is worse in our days are husbands who have turned to entitled sperm donors. They want to claim headship, feel entitled to submission but have consistently failed in their roles as the head, provider, protector and because of these more and more marriages are becoming troubled. No wonder many wives have come to the conclusion that they are better without husbands instead of the additional burden.
After all it is said that “marrying a good man means 50% of your life’s problems is solved but with a bad one, you have inherited an additional 50%.” (Same for a good woman) Who wants a life of 150% problems?
He that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour of the LORD (Prov 18:22).
Any contribution to the family by the wife is just a blessing/favour enjoyed by a man who finds a wife. It should be seen as an addition and not an entitlement afterall, favour cannot be forced. Have you ever wondered why a woman will stand up in a congregation and claim she is a widow while the husband is seated right beside her?
Now, having established these, and in the light of happenings all around us, we can indeed confirm that when these characteristics are missing in available men, then husbands are truly scarce and we often wonder why there is shortage in the ‘supply of husbands in the market’. The simple answer from the definition of scarcity is that there is inadequate production of husbands by the society.
The next question is, “Why is there inadequate production” despite the population growth all over the world?
Generational Error: Over the generations, we have been consistently haunted by the boy child-girl child wars. Attention has always been focused on the daughters with respect to trainings and proper behavior in preparation for matrimony.
Girls are always taught how to be good wives to their husbands, mothers to their children, care givers per excellence, sacrifices, discipline, pose, carriage, etc all centered around attracting ‘a husband’ and caring for him. The sons are more often than not excused from these trainings.
So there has been a fundamental error of omission in raising sons to be husband material while the focus is mostly always on the daughters. Sisters have been made to serve their brothers in preparation for marriage while the sons do nothing to prepare them for a marital future. This has made a lot of boys grow up with a deep sense of entitlement and irresponsibility and as they grow into men, they see themselves as lords and masters who must be served but not knowing how to manage their women as it was never instilled in them. That is why an ordinary boyfriend will be demanding that his girlfriend does his chores and cooks for him.
In other words, if 100 boys and girls were selected, 90% of the girls would have been well trained while 10% badly raised but in the case of the boys, 90% badly raised and 10% well trained (This is just an assumed figure). This therefore puts the girls at a disadvantage getting husbands as they have no choice but to pick from the available ones.
Even if 10% of the girls were lucky to get the good ones, what becomes of the remaining? They just get to settle with what is available. No wonder many good women end up with terrible husbands.
So, when a woman reports a case of domestic violence, even before marriage, she is advised to hold on to him because “husbands are scarce”! This is a contribution to the errors we see all around us.
Religious Organisations: Wives are constantly reminded of their roles/duties to their husbands. The emphasis on submission and support has been an excuse for so many husbands to ignore the log in their eyes while constantly complaining about the speck in their wives eyes. Most religious organisations never want for seminars, workshops, conferences for the womenfolk with most of their themes focusing on women being good wives, better home managers, good mothers to their children, supporting their husbands, keeping a husband, etc.
You will agree with me that there are rarely such programs teaching men to be good husbands and exceptional fathers, mentoring and being leaders in their homes, etc. This makes the men sit back and enjoy the dividend of good wives without improving upon themselves.
The Society: The society is a reflection of all manner of people, with the smallest unit being the family. The same society that mocks a woman who is delayed in child bearing covers for the man who is known to be ‘impotent’.
Single mothers who double as mothers and fathers to their children are judged and called all manner of names while the single father is praised for being responsible. Women are blamed for any failed marriage, when their husbands commit adultery, when the children don’t do well and worse still when the husband dies but the men never get blamed if the reverse were to be the case.
A man can impregnate a woman and disappear but the woman is blamed for being impregnated and taking responsibility. Even the woman caught in adultery was almost stoned while the man she committed the act with was nowhere to be found (John8:3-5). What about in-laws? They feel so entitled when their son/brother is taking care of them as it is their right but the wife becomes a witch if he doesn’t and many husbands have not mastered the art of balancing the relationship between their natal and conjugal families, hence, the chaos in many homes.
In all these, the society looks the other way when the husbands err but are quick to carry their mobile court should the wives err.
Many other factors are responsible but I chose to focus on these three major causes of shortage in the availability of husbands. That is not to make the women folk perfect or absolve them of any wrong doing, only that there are so many avenues to reach out to the women but very little or none to reach out to the men.
Are there still husbands/good men out there? Very much so. There are good men and correct husbands out there. A good wife is one by training first then choice while a good husband is one by choice and not training. There are still those who have made a decision and conscious effort to be the husband earlier defined. Even though they were not formally trained to be great husbands, they chose to do better than their fathers and better than society dictates so as to break the vicious cycle and be a plus to their generation.
Is there still hope? Of course, there is. I recommend that conscious effort be made in channeling the same energy used for the girl child on the boys too so the society can be a better place.
- Sons are not meant for carrying the family name alone, they are meant to lead in creating a better and functional society.
- Husbands should learn to be better listeners rather than dictators.
- Helping around the house is does not reduce your worth as a husband, rather it raises the bar of your respect as a man. It is one of the most practicable ways of showing love and support to the wife.
- Be a giver. Don’t ever feel entitled to whatever your wife has, rather, appreciate her for whatever she brings to the table.
- Always remember and be guided by the golden rule: Do to others what you want to be done to you. Never do to your wife what you wouldn’t want her to do to you.
- When the children start coming, be involved too. Don’t leave it all to the wife. A child has a mother and a FATHER.
- Let the children see how you demonstrate love for their mother and from there, they’ll understand genuine love.
- Be dependable and never fail to communicate by talking things through.
- Never rubbish your wife before the children, in-laws, friends or outsiders.
- Be loyal and considerate and treat your wife with respect so your prayers won’t be hindered (1Pet 3:7).
Let the men rise up to defend their wives, daughters, sisters and friends and teach their sons that a great marriage is the responsibility of both the husband and the wife working together to achieve a common goal.
Enough of abuse, violence and needless deaths in the name of marriage.
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