Scenario #1 – Dad comes home to his refuge. He had a long day at work and can’t wait to get home so he can kick it into neutral and have some me time.
Scenario #2 – Dad comes home to continue his main job. He had a long day at work, but realizes his vocation is only a component of his main job.
In the first scenario, the dad sees providing for his family as his primary responsibility. He interprets the means for providing as coming from his vocation. He has a narrow and sub-biblical view of providing for his family.
He sees provision as making money so they can have a nice home, plenty of food, more than enough clothes, and a few white-collar privileges. It’s also called living the American dream.
When the Bible speaks to us about familial provision, it takes a different approach from what most Americans think. The reason for this is because the LORD wants us to be released from the job trap, while primarily trusting Him.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8 (ESV)
Christ encourages us about His ability to provide, but does not expect us to stop working. He appeals to us to think rightly about our vocations. We are called to work and we are called to think biblically about how and why we work.
The tendency for many of us is to over-steer the car. We either don’t provide for our families or we over-provide. The LORD wants to protect us from both errors. We are to work hard, but we are to place our primary trust in Him to take care of us.
Even during the poorest days of my life, the LORD provided for me. I have survived on far less than what I have today. I think if we were honest with ourselves and others, we would admit the way we think about our jobs is more than just providing for our families.
There is a particular temptation for men to hide behind the provision claim, hoping others will see they are doing their job and, thus, require less of them, especially in the home.
Faking out the family