In the first instance of sin, the Lord established some principles for the husband and wife.  We read the words of the Lord to Eve in Genesis 3:16, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”  This teaches us that in the family, the husband is the head of the wife.  This also implies the responsibility to the man to provide for his wife and family.  We read in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”  With that headship and responsibility, the Word instructs the husband in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”  While the scriptures give the proper order for the home, with the man being the head and the woman having a submissive role, it also gives instruction to the man, lest he abuses his position and power.  He should love his wife the same way that Christ loves the church.  The husband, as he follows the example of Christ, will give his life to ensure his wife’s happiness, fulfillment, and security.

While the thought of the headship of the man in marriage is not very popular today, it is a scriptural principle that when understood and obeyed, will produce happy and godly homes. 

Along with man’s role to provide for his wife, financial responsibility is certainly part of that.  1 Timothy 5:8 teaches us, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”  I think we can say that the financial responsibility of the home is mainly the man’s responsibility.  Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, such as the man being incapable of working.  Then the wife would naturally become the provider for the home.

But, does the man have to be the sole provider of the home?  We have the words of the Lord in Matthew 19:5, “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”  ONE FLESH!  This means that when a man and woman marry, they virtually become ONE PERSON.  Since they are one, they should think and act like one.  A man and his wife should learn to talk over all issues and come to a mutual agreement, one that is acceptable to both and is according to scripture.  When the husband seeks to please his wife, and the wife seeks to please her husband, this gives them the ability to truly live as ONE. 

With that in mind, we do find instances in the Bible of the wife working to help support her family.  Proverbs 31:10-31 speaks of the qualities and value of a virtuous woman.  We won’t read the whole portion here, but let’s consider a few verses.  “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” (Verse 16).  “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” (Verses 18-19).  “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.” (Verse 24).  We can see this woman is a very hard worker, helping to make provision for her household.

In Acts 16:14, we learn of a lady who was a “seller of purple.”  Purple was a most valuable color, obtained usually from shellfish. It was chiefly worn by princes, and by the rich.  Lydia must have been good at dying materials, for she offered support by selling her goods.  We learn in verse 15 that she had a household, so I don’t think we would be incorrect in thinking of her as a wife who helped to support her family.  So, here we have just a couple examples of the wife working to help support her family.

I suspect that you and your spouse are not ONE in this matter.  I encourage you two to talk and pray about this matter and see what the Lord would have you do.  Speak openly to each other, but also listen to the reasoning of each other.  Not every home is identical to the next.  I was so pleased when my wife took a job as a schoolteacher.  This way, when school was cancelled for any reason, she could be there with the children.  During summer breaks, she was there with the children.  Her career helped us financially without causing a strain on the family dynamic.  We both talked together, prayed together, and decided together that this could be a good thing for all the family.  I encourage you and your spouse to do the same.  (416.6)