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Lazy Husbands, Hungry Kids and Hopeful Wives

February 15, 2011
Young husband asleep on leather couch

Dear Pearls,

Is it normal for wives of Visionary men to face homelessness? My husband has not worked at all for 2 years. Our car died and there is no money to fix it. Our savings are almost gone. We are very behind on our rent, and my husband has made it clear that he does not want me trying to get any kind of government assistance. Nor does he want me asking him any more work-related questions of any kind. He wants to work from home and will not consider doing any kind of other work to make ends meet. I am really trying to keep my mouth shut but am struggling as of late. We will be facing eviction soon. My parents live very close by and are aware that my husband is either sleeping or on the computer. My mom doesn’t say anything but often offers us food, which is well-received. I make a small amount of money working from home, but it is not enough to keep us afloat.

Should I just quietly allow this to happen to us? I wouldn’t worry about it so much if our children were not so young. They are 4, 2, and 1. My husband is not a Christian, but I love him and think he is a good man, but he is making me crazy! If you have any advice on what I can do, please let me know.

Dear Sister,

Your problem is part of a growing epidemic that can’t be blamed on the economy. God tells us in I Timothy 5:8, “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.”

In Micah 4:4, God reminds us, “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree…”

Clearly God meant for every man to work and provide for his household. So you and God are agreed, but that doesn’t mean your husband is going to jump up and get a job just because you tell him what God has said. So, what is a wife supposed to do? Basically nothing—nothing in word and nothing in deed. Just stay cheerful and loving. Your situation is better than most, for you have parents who, while not pushy, are willing to help. First, thank God for that wonderful mercy.

The Apostle Paul dealt with this issue in the early church. He reminded the Thessalonica church, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3:10–12). It is certainly not your responsibility to keep him from eating, but neither is it your duty to bail him out of his laziness. Tell your mom how much you appreciate her generous offerings of food, but ask her to give foods that only the little ones will eat. Make the food plain and basic. Slip over once a day with the children but without your husband and eat heartily. When there is no money available, allow your own kitchen cabinets to become bare.

The best thing a woman can do is allow the situation to come to a head as quickly as possible. Don’t be an enabler by seeking further income. As long as he can keep the family together in any dwelling and provide food, continue to cheerfully follow his lead.

But what if a worst case scenario develops and you are evicted and find yourself homeless with no place to go but the streets or a homeless shelter? That puts your children in danger.

There is an example in Scripture that is often overlooked. In 1 Samuel 25 we read of a woman named Abigail who was married to a man who offended David by refusing to feed his hungry men. When Abigail heard what her husband had done, she knew their lives were in danger. So, without her husband’s knowledge, she directed the servants to prepare food for the 600 men and hastily deliver it. David received the food and readily acknowledged that she had saved him from shedding blood. When Abigail’s husband suddenly died of divine/natural causes, David took her to be his wife.

If your husband’s actions put your children in real danger—not just discomfort or inconvenience—you should protect the children by respectfully disobeying your husband. To broaden the subject for our readers, the same would be true if a drunken husband commanded a wife and children to ride in the car while he drove. Respectfully disobey. Likewise, if a husband commands a wife to leave her children in the care of questionable babysitters, follow your maternal instincts.

If your present circumstances deteriorate to the point of homelessness, I suggest that you quietly arrange ahead of time for your parents to invite you and the children, but not your husband, to come and live with them. Let him live in a homeless shelter until he can provide a home for you and the girls. If he insists that you live with him on the streets, tell him your children come first and you will take them to your parents, dreaming of the day when he has a place for the family to be united. Perhaps you could have your parents invite him for dinner and a conjugal visit once a week but not to stay the night. Sometimes a man needs to lose his comfort zone (computer and TV) to appreciate his responsibility to maintain that zone. Most women make the mistake of jumping in and providing, and then they become bitter toward their lazy husbands.

I know I am going to get a lot of flak for this. If you have a better answer, I would like to hear it. We will publish worthy answers that vary from my own. I am glad God made me a husband and not a wife. Every woman deserves to be loved and cherished, and every child deserves to be protected and nurtured. Some husbands deserve to be whipped, but that, dear lady, is God’s job, not yours.

Leave a Reply

96 comments on “Lazy Husbands, Hungry Kids and Hopeful Wives”

  1. I have been in a similar situation and here I am 7 years removed and have a bit of personal wisdom to offer. Do everything you can to do what is in your children's best interest. Your husband clearly is not and you have now got to carry that mantle. No woman who loves God and longs to cling to His word wants it this way but you must not let the children fall prey to his lazy, depressed and self absorbed ways. Do what is right and leave the results in God's hands. Care for the hearts and lives of your children as God has lovingly administered grace to you ....lastly , do not take on a garment of guilt that comes like a thief in the night. My heart is sad for you and your children ....but I can tell you this...if you will keep your eyes on the Savior and do what you must do to guard your children you will have no regret. It is not ideal by a long stretch but God can and will redeem as you walk with Him.

  2. I have been in a similar situation and here I am 7 years removed and have a bit of personal wisdom to offer. Do everything you can to do what is in your children's best interest. Your husband clearly is not and you have now got to carry that mantle. No woman who loves God and longs to cling to His word wants it this way but you must not let the children fall prey to his lazy, depressed and self absorbed ways. Do what is right and leave the results in God's hands. Care for the hearts and lives of your children as God has lovingly administered grace to you ....lastly , do not take on a garment of guilt that comes like a thief in the night. My heart is sad for you and your children ....but I can tell you this...if you will keep your eyes on the Savior and do what you must do to guard your children you will have no regret. It is not ideal by a long stretch but God can and will redeem as you walk with Him.

  3. Thank you so much for this wisdom! I was recently in a situation where my husband commanded me to place my children in a situation I felt was very dangerous. Feeling that obeying him was most important, I did what he commanded, and felt sick about it. Ever since, I have worried and wondered what occurred during that time, and it makes me nervous all of the time. I wish I had realized the wisdom in this article two months ago. In the future if the situation arises again, I will most assuredly follow my maternal instincts about the safety of my children, and respectfully disobey.

  4. Thank you so much for this wisdom! I was recently in a situation where my husband commanded me to place my children in a situation I felt was very dangerous. Feeling that obeying him was most important, I did what he commanded, and felt sick about it. Ever since, I have worried and wondered what occurred during that time, and it makes me nervous all of the time. I wish I had realized the wisdom in this article two months ago. In the future if the situation arises again, I will most assuredly follow my maternal instincts about the safety of my children, and respectfully disobey.

  5. I am suffering from a horrible chronic pain problem, however I look perfectly fine except for a limp. Everything I did for a living and everything I did for fun has been taken away, it simply hurts to move, so I move as little as possible. I was a C- D student in high school and did not go to college. I desperately want/need to be trained to do something for work. My wife has a good job but we want a normal family, the man provides. I am 52 and want to learn computers, but how do we afford that? We are barley making it now. Why is this happening? I worked for myself most all my life but that would cause so much more pain I can't do it. I could do something if I was allowed to sit, but what and more important is who would pay me a living wage? I feel like I should not eat and hate the way life has turned on me.

    1. my husband works with computers and he tells people all the time to do DevMountain. then get some experience, any experience, even creating websites or things for people in your town, or family. brush up on interview questions, they are online. and actually, losing weight and dressing nice alone will probably get you hired, people are shallow. he says he works with people all the time who have little to no experience in reality even though they interviewed well. they don't get fired. you will have several months on the job to learn what you need to do before they even consider firing you. the main thing is, don't get in the way. when you do get a job, just don't make more work for people and quietly work hard until you understand what's going on. get there early, work late, dress nice. after a while, you can tone it down after you're good. you can do this. i don't know if that helps at all, but i hope it does.

  6. I am suffering from a horrible chronic pain problem, however I look perfectly fine except for a limp. Everything I did for a living and everything I did for fun has been taken away, it simply hurts to move, so I move as little as possible. I was a C- D student in high school and did not go to college. I desperately want/need to be trained to do something for work. My wife has a good job but we want a normal family, the man provides. I am 52 and want to learn computers, but how do we afford that? We are barley making it now. Why is this happening? I worked for myself most all my life but that would cause so much more pain I can't do it. I could do something if I was allowed to sit, but what and more important is who would pay me a living wage? I feel like I should not eat and hate the way life has turned on me.

  7. My husband was saved later in life (a few months before we met) and came from a fatherless background. As such, he did not have a godly upbringing and has struggled at times in his role as a father, husband and provider. We have been in this spot several times. The first time, there were no children and I was getting my PHT (putting hubby through). College got out for the summer and my hubby took a vacation . . . sleeping in late, reading, more sleeping. After several weeks, I came to the realization that he was not going to actually seek a job. After much deliberation and prayer, I put in my two weeks notice, sweetly told my husband I loved him and would be willing to live in our car with him, but though I didn't mind helping with the finances, I was not going to take his job as the provider. It was a rude awakening for him and, much to my surprise and relief, he promptly went out and got a job the next day.

    The 2nd time this happened, he was laid off and we were pregnant with our sixth child. At that time he decided to start his own business, but not having a clear plan, he usually slept in late, meandered around and basically brought us to destitution. We did not live near family and I didn't feel like it was my job to expose him to my church family (love covers a multitude of sin). I took great comfort in Isaiah 54:5a "For your Maker is your Husband - the Lord of hosts is His name". I called to the Lord as my husband and cast my care upon Him. I asked that He send godly men to speak into my husband's life. I was distressed over our irresponsibility in paying bills and the food situation got so bad that we ate from the same pot of soup for one solid week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, I knew in my heart that if I jumped in and made things easier on my husband by taking a job, leaving the care of my children to others, that I would very possibly end up being bitter and, also, in becoming self- sufficient, I might eventually end our marriage. For me, because my type A driven personality wanted to take over, take charge and dominate the situation, this test really seemed more like a test of my own personal willingness to lay this situation before the Lord and wait on Him. It was HARD. However, I am convinced that had I not waited, my husband would not be the godly, hard-working provider he is today.

    It has been 25 years since the first trial. My husband will always be more laid back than I am. However, he is an amazing man and he has grown in leaps and bounds in His love of the Lord and God's Word. Those were trying times and it was hard to humble myself before the Lord, wait on Him and let Him work on my husband's character. A person's work ethic means a lot to me, but, for me at least, this furnace of testing seemed as much about my learning to trust in the Lord while remaining loving and supporting to my husband, as it was for my husband to learn to be the strong, godly man he is now.

    I agree whole heartedly with Michael Pearl that in allowing things to come to a head, God can always get someones attention and deal with the matter much more expediently. Anger, crying, accusations or disrespect helps no one. Tough love does. One thing we do know, God has a plan. All you need to do is get out of the way and let Him work.

  8. My husband was saved later in life (a few months before we met) and came from a fatherless background. As such, he did not have a godly upbringing and has struggled at times in his role as a father, husband and provider. We have been in this spot several times. The first time, there were no children and I was getting my PHT (putting hubby through). College got out for the summer and my hubby took a vacation . . . sleeping in late, reading, more sleeping. After several weeks, I came to the realization that he was not going to actually seek a job. After much deliberation and prayer, I put in my two weeks notice, sweetly told my husband I loved him and would be willing to live in our car with him, but though I didn't mind helping with the finances, I was not going to take his job as the provider. It was a rude awakening for him and, much to my surprise and relief, he promptly went out and got a job the next day.

    The 2nd time this happened, he was laid off and we were pregnant with our sixth child. At that time he decided to start his own business, but not having a clear plan, he usually slept in late, meandered around and basically brought us to destitution. We did not live near family and I didn't feel like it was my job to expose him to my church family (love covers a multitude of sin). I took great comfort in Isaiah 54:5a "For your Maker is your Husband - the Lord of hosts is His name". I called to the Lord as my husband and cast my care upon Him. I asked that He send godly men to speak into my husband's life. I was distressed over our irresponsibility in paying bills and the food situation got so bad that we ate from the same pot of soup for one solid week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, I knew in my heart that if I jumped in and made things easier on my husband by taking a job, leaving the care of my children to others, that I would very possibly end up being bitter and, also, in becoming self- sufficient, I might eventually end our marriage. For me, because my type A driven personality wanted to take over, take charge and dominate the situation, this test really seemed more like a test of my own personal willingness to lay this situation before the Lord and wait on Him. It was HARD. However, I am convinced that had I not waited, my husband would not be the godly, hard-working provider he is today.

    It has been 25 years since the first trial. My husband will always be more laid back than I am. However, he is an amazing man and he has grown in leaps and bounds in His love of the Lord and God's Word. Those were trying times and it was hard to humble myself before the Lord, wait on Him and let Him work on my husband's character. A person's work ethic means a lot to me, but, for me at least, this furnace of testing seemed as much about my learning to trust in the Lord while remaining loving and supporting to my husband, as it was for my husband to learn to be the strong, godly man he is now.

    I agree whole heartedly with Michael Pearl that in allowing things to come to a head, God can always get someones attention and deal with the matter much more expediently. Anger, crying, accusations or disrespect helps no one. Tough love does. One thing we do know, God has a plan. All you need to do is get out of the way and let Him work.

  9. I suggest you immediately use the rest of your savings to catch up the rent; that provides your husband with the very minimum comfort and protection of a roof over his head. Leave the phone/TV/internet/electricity/water unpaid. Quietly and matter-of-factly, pack up the kids, their beds and and their possessions (important -- that comes first) and what possessions of your own are most needed. Move them over to your folks' house "until things improve" -- that's a truthful but very tactful way of putting it. And once you're at your folks', first seek out public assistance, then full-time employment for yourself. In this new situation, your husband has abandoned his headship, and you must fend for yourself as if he actually disappeared or died. Do not pay any other bills as long as he is still in the house; allow him to be fully responsible for them, right to the very end (eviction). Once you have work, set aside cash every month for "a new place," keep only a bare minimum of pocket money for yourself, and give the rest of your paycheck to your folks; they have now assumed his headship. Walk to work if you can, or arrange with them for a car or chauffeuring. Allow him to visit you away from your parents' house at convenient times, and to visit the kids only when you and both of your parents are present. He may be dealing with depression, a physical addiction (did he fail a drug test at work that he didn't tell you about?) or a computer-fed emotional addiction (such as porn). Treat him respectfully and rejoice with him at every step toward improvement. Reunite only when he has held a job for a year or so, has caught up all the old bills and gained a secure situation for the family. Expect it to take a year, probably two years. Conjugal visits will help prevent him finding "shelter" with another woman, but be infinitely careful about preventing pregnancy. For yourself, move out on your own when you reasonably can, WITHOUT your parents' financial assistance. Make this your own journey toward a better life, as well as his. Keep in positive, regular contact with his family members if you can. Everything will be different from now on; keep a relaxed and joyful attitude. The Children of Israel had to wander an extra forty years in the wilderness through no fault of their own, but as the result of the faithlessness of ten men who were in positions of trust and leadership; you, too, are in a wilderness (a scary, dangerous place) not of your own making, but a successful journey out of it must indeed be your own. Blessings to you all, and keep us posted.

  10. I suggest you immediately use the rest of your savings to catch up the rent; that provides your husband with the very minimum comfort and protection of a roof over his head. Leave the phone/TV/internet/electricity/water unpaid. Quietly and matter-of-factly, pack up the kids, their beds and and their possessions (important -- that comes first) and what possessions of your own are most needed. Move them over to your folks' house "until things improve" -- that's a truthful but very tactful way of putting it. And once you're at your folks', first seek out public assistance, then full-time employment for yourself. In this new situation, your husband has abandoned his headship, and you must fend for yourself as if he actually disappeared or died. Do not pay any other bills as long as he is still in the house; allow him to be fully responsible for them, right to the very end (eviction). Once you have work, set aside cash every month for "a new place," keep only a bare minimum of pocket money for yourself, and give the rest of your paycheck to your folks; they have now assumed his headship. Walk to work if you can, or arrange with them for a car or chauffeuring. Allow him to visit you away from your parents' house at convenient times, and to visit the kids only when you and both of your parents are present. He may be dealing with depression, a physical addiction (did he fail a drug test at work that he didn't tell you about?) or a computer-fed emotional addiction (such as porn). Treat him respectfully and rejoice with him at every step toward improvement. Reunite only when he has held a job for a year or so, has caught up all the old bills and gained a secure situation for the family. Expect it to take a year, probably two years. Conjugal visits will help prevent him finding "shelter" with another woman, but be infinitely careful about preventing pregnancy. For yourself, move out on your own when you reasonably can, WITHOUT your parents' financial assistance. Make this your own journey toward a better life, as well as his. Keep in positive, regular contact with his family members if you can. Everything will be different from now on; keep a relaxed and joyful attitude. The Children of Israel had to wander an extra forty years in the wilderness through no fault of their own, but as the result of the faithlessness of ten men who were in positions of trust and leadership; you, too, are in a wilderness (a scary, dangerous place) not of your own making, but a successful journey out of it must indeed be your own. Blessings to you all, and keep us posted.

  11. A husband that would ask of or expect his wife to take dangerous and unnecessary risks where his children are concerned is not in his right mind. If he ever acquires a sound mind, he would thank you for watching out for his children while he was incapacitated. If he never thanks you, the Lord will.

    I do understand that it's not always clear where the line should be drawn between which issues are worth taking a stand and which ones are not, so that you know that you know that your priorities are not out of order. I use those times to remind me to get even more familiar with the Lord's voice, to learn to trust what you hear, to know that He is not the author of confusion and does not second guess us like I so often do to ourselves. It helps to recognize that He is Sovereign and has divinely appointed you (flaws and all) as the mother of your children. He knows your heart and that you love Him, them, and your husband. He guides us with His peace. Go boldly and confidently in any direction you want to go where there is peace. If you don't have peace in any option you can see, then I would say to wait cheerfully - confident that something is being prepared. Read and memorize Psalm 91. Keep asking for His guidance. He won't be slow in answering you. Grace and hugs to you, my sister.

  12. A husband that would ask of or expect his wife to take dangerous and unnecessary risks where his children are concerned is not in his right mind. If he ever acquires a sound mind, he would thank you for watching out for his children while he was incapacitated. If he never thanks you, the Lord will.

    I do understand that it's not always clear where the line should be drawn between which issues are worth taking a stand and which ones are not, so that you know that you know that your priorities are not out of order. I use those times to remind me to get even more familiar with the Lord's voice, to learn to trust what you hear, to know that He is not the author of confusion and does not second guess us like I so often do to ourselves. It helps to recognize that He is Sovereign and has divinely appointed you (flaws and all) as the mother of your children. He knows your heart and that you love Him, them, and your husband. He guides us with His peace. Go boldly and confidently in any direction you want to go where there is peace. If you don't have peace in any option you can see, then I would say to wait cheerfully - confident that something is being prepared. Read and memorize Psalm 91. Keep asking for His guidance. He won't be slow in answering you. Grace and hugs to you, my sister.

  13. Some very good, Biblical ideas, but not far enough----I am saddened that nowhere did I see the exhortation to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for your husband and continue to reverence him like never before. This is a good thing in that it makes us wives depend more and more on our heavenly Father. He IS working in US perserverance and dependance on him like never before.

  14. Some very good, Biblical ideas, but not far enough----I am saddened that nowhere did I see the exhortation to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for your husband and continue to reverence him like never before. This is a good thing in that it makes us wives depend more and more on our heavenly Father. He IS working in US perserverance and dependance on him like never before.

  15. I think something may have been overlooked in the wife's letter. I would like to add my two cents. My husband has been unemployed, part time employed or under employed for the past 4 years. None of this has been due to his want or drive but the lousy economy.
    The part I belive that may have been over looked is this... "that my husband is either sleeping or on the computer." Everyone automatically took this as playing with the computer and not as building a buisness with it. Could it be that this husband is trying very hard, however misguided, to work but because it doesn't look like typical "work" his wife, as well as others, see it as play time or a waste of time? Ignoring foreclosure is not good for any reason and I'm not excusing that. But he could very well be working his tail off trying very hard, but blind in his zeal, to make a go of his dream. He can't be too lazy or else he wouldn't care if she signed up for government assistance or not. Her comment about him not wanting to be asked "work related" questions also shows me that she has been pushy and no trusting of her husband's attempts at work, subtil baskseat driving. Asking you for help could be her last attempt at leveraging control of the situation.

  16. I think something may have been overlooked in the wife's letter. I would like to add my two cents. My husband has been unemployed, part time employed or under employed for the past 4 years. None of this has been due to his want or drive but the lousy economy.
    The part I belive that may have been over looked is this... "that my husband is either sleeping or on the computer." Everyone automatically took this as playing with the computer and not as building a buisness with it. Could it be that this husband is trying very hard, however misguided, to work but because it doesn't look like typical "work" his wife, as well as others, see it as play time or a waste of time? Ignoring foreclosure is not good for any reason and I'm not excusing that. But he could very well be working his tail off trying very hard, but blind in his zeal, to make a go of his dream. He can't be too lazy or else he wouldn't care if she signed up for government assistance or not. Her comment about him not wanting to be asked "work related" questions also shows me that she has been pushy and no trusting of her husband's attempts at work, subtil baskseat driving. Asking you for help could be her last attempt at leveraging control of the situation.

  17. Paul--
    There are call centers where you could work. They train you to sit and take calls from people who have problems with their cell phones, etc. Depending on where you live, there's always that option...

  18. Paul--
    There are call centers where you could work. They train you to sit and take calls from people who have problems with their cell phones, etc. Depending on where you live, there's always that option...

  19. This has bothered me since I read it yesterday. I keep wondering if this was a shotgun wedding. Did someone force you into this? From the ages of your children you have been married such a short time to lose confidence in the man you decided to commit your life to. I bet you thought you could change him didn't you? But you can't change Mr. Visionary, you can either have a blast or worry yourself to death.

    You are almost broke but not quite, almost bankrupt but not yet. Visionary find bank accounts boring. They like to come back when it's the bottom of the 9th not in the first inning. I'm afraid you have given your husband the impression it is not longer "You and me against the world" it's just you against him. So sad when you could be having so much fun with those little ones.

    Now here's what to do, pretend the worst has happened and your parents don't exist. Keep working your little job and hand him your checks. Get back on his side and stay there. Also reread Debi's chapter on the Visionary - I read it at least twice a year. If you can restore your husband's trust in you, not that you've earned it, you may still see him turn it around at the last second.

    The reason this has bothered me so much is because my husband came home yesterday and couldn't wait to close the door. "I got a raise! $5000 a year in a bad economy!" We screamed and cheered for him. Then I read your letter and thought, "Oh, this poor silly girl is missing so much with her sympathy party."

    You picked him, sweetie, now go prove he wasn't wrong when he picked you.

  20. This has bothered me since I read it yesterday. I keep wondering if this was a shotgun wedding. Did someone force you into this? From the ages of your children you have been married such a short time to lose confidence in the man you decided to commit your life to. I bet you thought you could change him didn't you? But you can't change Mr. Visionary, you can either have a blast or worry yourself to death.

    You are almost broke but not quite, almost bankrupt but not yet. Visionary find bank accounts boring. They like to come back when it's the bottom of the 9th not in the first inning. I'm afraid you have given your husband the impression it is not longer "You and me against the world" it's just you against him. So sad when you could be having so much fun with those little ones.

    Now here's what to do, pretend the worst has happened and your parents don't exist. Keep working your little job and hand him your checks. Get back on his side and stay there. Also reread Debi's chapter on the Visionary - I read it at least twice a year. If you can restore your husband's trust in you, not that you've earned it, you may still see him turn it around at the last second.

    The reason this has bothered me so much is because my husband came home yesterday and couldn't wait to close the door. "I got a raise! $5000 a year in a bad economy!" We screamed and cheered for him. Then I read your letter and thought, "Oh, this poor silly girl is missing so much with her sympathy party."

    You picked him, sweetie, now go prove he wasn't wrong when he picked you.

      1. I agree- you make a lot of assumptions. There is a HUGE difference in enabling and supporting. Let the check feed the children and you and let the lack of food encourage the husband! God has called us to build up our husbands, we are not his subordinate- I agree with Debbie as to allow him to live in the discomfort.....simply stating, "honey, I know it's tough right now, I'm praying for you and lifting you to God while you figure this out." Stating this while you're at your parents. Shows him your support, shows your children that love covers all- and shows your husband and your kids that God is in control....not us, not our husbands, not the economy!

    1. This is such an inspiring and positive post!

      "You are almost broke but not quite, almost bankrupt but not yet."

      This is how I have found it too--God has showed up and showed off in the "not yet" spaces. Truly amazing.

      If we 1) keep his house and 2) give him good sex, the rest pretty much falls into place!

  21. I spoke with rebecca on this subject back in 2006. I was desperate...my husbands contracting business had fallen apart, we were struggling, HE was struggling with The Lord, and she told me to be as Sara was...not to respond in fear and amazement..just follow my man. ( in a nutshell.)
    Well I tried my best to do that....we lost everything, and short of eviction instead of moving in with my mother SHE gave me money for a deposit on a house rental. My husband had relocated to another state to work with his brother...so I followed him with the kids. But things haven't really turned around. I went on Food Stamps to provide food for my children. Got Medicaid so we would have access to medical help for my husbands medical issues. Eventually, when he told me I was lazy and needed to contribute, I got a job teaching that allowed me to be home with my children when THEY got home from public school. I was substituting. Then my husband told me we needed benefits to " get off the govt assistance" so I went to fulltime ( they offered me a job) that paid less but had full benefits. Including dental so my husband could get some of his rotten teeth pulled. Then he cancelled his appointments. I told him I would not make any more appts. for him if he was going to cancel. So he made them for himself, was put under a dentists care, and we'll see what transpires over the next 5 years ( the dentists' treatment plan.) My DH is without work right now and we don't know how we will pay the rent next week. We have been living like this for months. He tells me he is desperate but has had enough " of that Christian stuff." It is an ongoing battle in my household and I just want to get the boys ( 17,15,14) out of the house . My daughter is 7 and I am trying to raise her to be a good wife but under the circumstances ...hard to gauge how I am doing! My 17 yr. old wants to go in to the military. His Dad says no way. Son tells me he'll leave anyway...I just told him not to slam the door in my face, I love him, I will support him in whatever he decides to do but he needs to be respectful.
    There are no " quick fixes." It is sometimes a long and arduous process. I've been reading NGJ since 1992 when my son was born. I have tried not to waiver in my faith because my DH does. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Read about victorious women in the bible. Seek encouraging christian fellowship. Do not disobey The Lord. These are a few of my own rules!!!! Thank you Pearls...

  22. I spoke with rebecca on this subject back in 2006. I was desperate...my husbands contracting business had fallen apart, we were struggling, HE was struggling with The Lord, and she told me to be as Sara was...not to respond in fear and amazement..just follow my man. ( in a nutshell.)
    Well I tried my best to do that....we lost everything, and short of eviction instead of moving in with my mother SHE gave me money for a deposit on a house rental. My husband had relocated to another state to work with his brother...so I followed him with the kids. But things haven't really turned around. I went on Food Stamps to provide food for my children. Got Medicaid so we would have access to medical help for my husbands medical issues. Eventually, when he told me I was lazy and needed to contribute, I got a job teaching that allowed me to be home with my children when THEY got home from public school. I was substituting. Then my husband told me we needed benefits to " get off the govt assistance" so I went to fulltime ( they offered me a job) that paid less but had full benefits. Including dental so my husband could get some of his rotten teeth pulled. Then he cancelled his appointments. I told him I would not make any more appts. for him if he was going to cancel. So he made them for himself, was put under a dentists care, and we'll see what transpires over the next 5 years ( the dentists' treatment plan.) My DH is without work right now and we don't know how we will pay the rent next week. We have been living like this for months. He tells me he is desperate but has had enough " of that Christian stuff." It is an ongoing battle in my household and I just want to get the boys ( 17,15,14) out of the house . My daughter is 7 and I am trying to raise her to be a good wife but under the circumstances ...hard to gauge how I am doing! My 17 yr. old wants to go in to the military. His Dad says no way. Son tells me he'll leave anyway...I just told him not to slam the door in my face, I love him, I will support him in whatever he decides to do but he needs to be respectful.
    There are no " quick fixes." It is sometimes a long and arduous process. I've been reading NGJ since 1992 when my son was born. I have tried not to waiver in my faith because my DH does. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Read about victorious women in the bible. Seek encouraging christian fellowship. Do not disobey The Lord. These are a few of my own rules!!!! Thank you Pearls...

  23. I was so encouraged to read Rene's post! What a godly example of allowing God to work each situation for His good and of giving Him the glory for doing so!

    I was a bit disturbed to read some of the posts by others. Particularly the ones that advised you get out of the situation and run to your parents. Perhaps I'm being to harsh but my Bible says to leave your parents and cleave to your husband! As a side note, I was raised in a home without a father and can personally testify to the mistake that would be for your children! You may think you are doing the best for your children but from a child who was raised without a father, CHILDREN NEED A FATHER! THEIR father!

    Every child of God goes through trials that He has ordained to "prune" them and bring them closer to Him. Please don't discredit God and your husband by running! Stay in the battle and let God work in your family. Your children need to see you loving your "lazy" husband and when they are older and have a home of their own they will rise up and call you blessed.

    I'm so sorry you're in this situation but God knows what He's doing. I plead with you to follow His leading and stay in the "heat" and let Him mold you into greater Christ-likeness. I'm sure you are already praying faithfully for your husband; continue to pray for both him and you.

  24. I was so encouraged to read Rene's post! What a godly example of allowing God to work each situation for His good and of giving Him the glory for doing so!

    I was a bit disturbed to read some of the posts by others. Particularly the ones that advised you get out of the situation and run to your parents. Perhaps I'm being to harsh but my Bible says to leave your parents and cleave to your husband! As a side note, I was raised in a home without a father and can personally testify to the mistake that would be for your children! You may think you are doing the best for your children but from a child who was raised without a father, CHILDREN NEED A FATHER! THEIR father!

    Every child of God goes through trials that He has ordained to "prune" them and bring them closer to Him. Please don't discredit God and your husband by running! Stay in the battle and let God work in your family. Your children need to see you loving your "lazy" husband and when they are older and have a home of their own they will rise up and call you blessed.

    I'm so sorry you're in this situation but God knows what He's doing. I plead with you to follow His leading and stay in the "heat" and let Him mold you into greater Christ-likeness. I'm sure you are already praying faithfully for your husband; continue to pray for both him and you.

  25. For your transportaion problems, bikes from a garage sale may help or just walking. Cut the heat off in your home and wrap up and in the summer time open a window. If your water gets turned off, catch rainwater and tote it in from the neighbors. What is the verse that if we have food and shelter to be thankful.(Humm it may be food and clothing) Shelter is your concern right now. Maybe someone could donate a tent, camper or bus and maybe you can live behind your parents. Or there might be an overgrown home that someone will let you all live in. Buy groceries like rice, lentiles, beans, oatmeal and carrots. My mother-in-law had a dad that was a bit like this. One Thanskgiving the kids wanted to know why they couldn't have a turkey like the other kids had for Thanksgiving and had to eat beans. There mom said " many folks do not have beans and that they were going to thank God for those beans and be thankful. " I love to ask my mother-in-law to tell that story to me about her Thanksgiving. Ride this storm out my dear sister and you may find that your most precious memories are from this time.

  26. For your transportaion problems, bikes from a garage sale may help or just walking. Cut the heat off in your home and wrap up and in the summer time open a window. If your water gets turned off, catch rainwater and tote it in from the neighbors. What is the verse that if we have food and shelter to be thankful.(Humm it may be food and clothing) Shelter is your concern right now. Maybe someone could donate a tent, camper or bus and maybe you can live behind your parents. Or there might be an overgrown home that someone will let you all live in. Buy groceries like rice, lentiles, beans, oatmeal and carrots. My mother-in-law had a dad that was a bit like this. One Thanskgiving the kids wanted to know why they couldn't have a turkey like the other kids had for Thanksgiving and had to eat beans. There mom said " many folks do not have beans and that they were going to thank God for those beans and be thankful. " I love to ask my mother-in-law to tell that story to me about her Thanksgiving. Ride this storm out my dear sister and you may find that your most precious memories are from this time.

  27. I feel like you were telling my story only mine has been going on for 6 years. My husband in the past has gotten great paying jobs only to walk off and never come back. I have cried myself to sleep almost every night begging God to come and rescue me and my boys from this mess. I have learn a great deal of faith though this I have to let God be incontrol not me, leaning on the Lord has been a comfort. I'm still learning but one thing I can say put it in Gods hands ALL your worries and tell him you need his help that you can't do this on your own. Prayer is the answer God answer's prayer.

  28. I feel like you were telling my story only mine has been going on for 6 years. My husband in the past has gotten great paying jobs only to walk off and never come back. I have cried myself to sleep almost every night begging God to come and rescue me and my boys from this mess. I have learn a great deal of faith though this I have to let God be incontrol not me, leaning on the Lord has been a comfort. I'm still learning but one thing I can say put it in Gods hands ALL your worries and tell him you need his help that you can't do this on your own. Prayer is the answer God answer's prayer.

  29. Dear Mike,
    I read your article about the woman whose husband doesn't work and you asked if anyone had any ideas about her situation. Normally I agree with most of what you suggest but I wonder if you have considered that this husband is looking for a way out of his responsibilities as a husband and father. His laziness may be his way of forcing his wife into a decision to move in with her parents. You suggested a once-a-week meal and conjugal visit at the parent

  30. Dear Mike,
    I read your article about the woman whose husband doesn't work and you asked if anyone had any ideas about her situation. Normally I agree with most of what you suggest but I wonder if you have considered that this husband is looking for a way out of his responsibilities as a husband and father. His laziness may be his way of forcing his wife into a decision to move in with her parents. You suggested a once-a-week meal and conjugal visit at the parent

  31. I have been thinking about this article for the past two days. My hubby retired 3 years ago, told me he was going to start a business of his own; I just needed to give him a year. He asked me to return to work. I did all he asked and more. He still sleeps a lot, watches TV while we're are trying to home school nearby, and sits in the basement on the computer the rest of the time. I'm still waiting for him to produce something, anything and I am getting bitter. I pray for the Lord to take the bitterness away. But I can't just not work anymore because it will hurt my career now. I work part-time as a RN and make good money. I carry the insurance, pay for school for the kids, the heat and many more bills. The line between his and hers is murky and I can't change it now. I think I really messed up. I just blindly did what my hubby asked. My advice? Pray diligently...not hard, diligently. Because the decision clearly must come from God, because it MUST be the right one. For those of you who think he still will pull through? He tells our three boys often to make sure they find a wife with a good job. If they become interested in someone, make sure she works and brings in a good amount of money.

  32. I have been thinking about this article for the past two days. My hubby retired 3 years ago, told me he was going to start a business of his own; I just needed to give him a year. He asked me to return to work. I did all he asked and more. He still sleeps a lot, watches TV while we're are trying to home school nearby, and sits in the basement on the computer the rest of the time. I'm still waiting for him to produce something, anything and I am getting bitter. I pray for the Lord to take the bitterness away. But I can't just not work anymore because it will hurt my career now. I work part-time as a RN and make good money. I carry the insurance, pay for school for the kids, the heat and many more bills. The line between his and hers is murky and I can't change it now. I think I really messed up. I just blindly did what my hubby asked. My advice? Pray diligently...not hard, diligently. Because the decision clearly must come from God, because it MUST be the right one. For those of you who think he still will pull through? He tells our three boys often to make sure they find a wife with a good job. If they become interested in someone, make sure she works and brings in a good amount of money.

  33. This scenario is playing out all over America at a seemingly exponential rate. God bless the wives that can follow God's Word and trust Him to work it out. I pray that God will send real men who aren't afraid to give out a cold slap of reality to wake up these lazy fathers and husbands. Also, wives be sure you've got a real reason to disobey your husband. I know a lot of wives that instigate their husbands through nagging, start a fight, then kick him out because she is "afraid" for the kids. An angry husband is not ideal but it doesn't necessarily mean abuse is imminent.

  34. This scenario is playing out all over America at a seemingly exponential rate. God bless the wives that can follow God's Word and trust Him to work it out. I pray that God will send real men who aren't afraid to give out a cold slap of reality to wake up these lazy fathers and husbands. Also, wives be sure you've got a real reason to disobey your husband. I know a lot of wives that instigate their husbands through nagging, start a fight, then kick him out because she is "afraid" for the kids. An angry husband is not ideal but it doesn't necessarily mean abuse is imminent.

  35. To Faithful, Are you kidding me? It's easy to give advice to the lowly when you have a husband who provides all your needs for you. It's easy to look down on others when everything is going well for you. But God has chosen those who are poor in the eyes of this world to be rich in faith. I see that you have fallen way short of life experiences for though many trials find us wanting, God is our all in all, as we find Him when we can find no way out of the valley we are in, then and only then are we rich. To my the sister that wrote the letter..keep pressing on and don't let the liberal gibberish in the church contradict the standards of Christ.

  36. To Faithful, Are you kidding me? It's easy to give advice to the lowly when you have a husband who provides all your needs for you. It's easy to look down on others when everything is going well for you. But God has chosen those who are poor in the eyes of this world to be rich in faith. I see that you have fallen way short of life experiences for though many trials find us wanting, God is our all in all, as we find Him when we can find no way out of the valley we are in, then and only then are we rich. To my the sister that wrote the letter..keep pressing on and don't let the liberal gibberish in the church contradict the standards of Christ.

  37. in case whereby the husband is really trying hard to get a job, the wife is in a better position to encourage him and pray for him. that's committing her husband to God.

  38. in case whereby the husband is really trying hard to get a job, the wife is in a better position to encourage him and pray for him. that's committing her husband to God.

  39. Dear Mr. Pearl,
    Thank you so much for this article. I just read it and had to stop and thank the LORD. I just felt that the LORD has heard my cries and this article and some of the responses here has really blessed and encouraged me. In Hebrews, the Israelites sinned against God by their unbelief. The cure for unbelief is exhortation from fellow brothers and sisters in the faith! Thank you so much for a timely article!!!!

  40. Dear Mr. Pearl,
    Thank you so much for this article. I just read it and had to stop and thank the LORD. I just felt that the LORD has heard my cries and this article and some of the responses here has really blessed and encouraged me. In Hebrews, the Israelites sinned against God by their unbelief. The cure for unbelief is exhortation from fellow brothers and sisters in the faith! Thank you so much for a timely article!!!!

  41. Bro.Pearl's answer seems so fitting for this lady's situation. I'll not add to it but would like to state that his calling this an "epidemic" is an understatement. I'm not an alarmist but in my part of the country "enabled" males are milking the enabling parents dry. When the money is gone,some will attempt to find work but their prime work years have past. People here used to pride themselves in working to provide. Now we have thirty year olds that don't even know how to labor. I don't wish for it but hard times will expose what's really in men. I learned more about people during hurricane Katrina than a social worker will learn in their entire career. This ladies husband needs a personal Katrina. My God has used tragedy and hard times to bring His people to where he wants them since creation. It may even get this ladies husband to a place of repentance.

  42. Bro.Pearl's answer seems so fitting for this lady's situation. I'll not add to it but would like to state that his calling this an "epidemic" is an understatement. I'm not an alarmist but in my part of the country "enabled" males are milking the enabling parents dry. When the money is gone,some will attempt to find work but their prime work years have past. People here used to pride themselves in working to provide. Now we have thirty year olds that don't even know how to labor. I don't wish for it but hard times will expose what's really in men. I learned more about people during hurricane Katrina than a social worker will learn in their entire career. This ladies husband needs a personal Katrina. My God has used tragedy and hard times to bring His people to where he wants them since creation. It may even get this ladies husband to a place of repentance.

  43. My friend read this article and was convinced that it was me that wrote it. The only difference is my situation is a little worse. We have been in this for 10 years. We were finally evicted after the 7th attempt. At the last second he would come up with the money. He has blown through all our savings and now we are living in a friends RV. We have been in the RV going on 3 months. I have no family to go to and I am at a loss. I don't know what to do and don't know how much longer I can endure. I have 2 kids and am very disappointed with how things have turned out. I did expect life to be so much different and here I am. I don't know what to do. I have sought pastoral help. I am in therapy. I am so tired of talk. I have no feelings left for this man called my husband. To make sure my kids have what they need, I got a job. I actually have 3 jobs. He has been trying to get his business off the ground during this time. But there is no income. I am tired. I just wish things were different.

  44. My friend read this article and was convinced that it was me that wrote it. The only difference is my situation is a little worse. We have been in this for 10 years. We were finally evicted after the 7th attempt. At the last second he would come up with the money. He has blown through all our savings and now we are living in a friends RV. We have been in the RV going on 3 months. I have no family to go to and I am at a loss. I don't know what to do and don't know how much longer I can endure. I have 2 kids and am very disappointed with how things have turned out. I did expect life to be so much different and here I am. I don't know what to do. I have sought pastoral help. I am in therapy. I am so tired of talk. I have no feelings left for this man called my husband. To make sure my kids have what they need, I got a job. I actually have 3 jobs. He has been trying to get his business off the ground during this time. But there is no income. I am tired. I just wish things were different.

  45. I can understand completely how you feel cause i am in a similiar situation except my husband is a christian.He works less and less all the time and the children wonder why he does not work more?What does a wife say?He basically goes from watching movies,being on the computer and going to the library.We basically live totally live on a line of credit and we are always in debt.It is very hard.I am soooo glad you brought this serious issue to light.It needs to be addressed.I had no idea there were other women out there like me with similiar situations.I cannot at this point work out from home he will not allow it so I guess I sit back and hope and pray earnestly the Lord gets a hold of him before we too lose everything! I am scared!!

  46. I can understand completely how you feel cause i am in a similiar situation except my husband is a christian.He works less and less all the time and the children wonder why he does not work more?What does a wife say?He basically goes from watching movies,being on the computer and going to the library.We basically live totally live on a line of credit and we are always in debt.It is very hard.I am soooo glad you brought this serious issue to light.It needs to be addressed.I had no idea there were other women out there like me with similiar situations.I cannot at this point work out from home he will not allow it so I guess I sit back and hope and pray earnestly the Lord gets a hold of him before we too lose everything! I am scared!!

  47. Please keep me in your prayers and everyone in this ministry. This article touched my heart and I am praying for a window to open after this door has closed. With God, anything is possible!

  48. Please keep me in your prayers and everyone in this ministry. This article touched my heart and I am praying for a window to open after this door has closed. With God, anything is possible!

  49. My husband has not had a job in 7 months. I am 7 months pregnant with our second child. This is the second time this has happened, through no fault of his own. I love my husband and watch how difficult it is for him to be turned away from the most menial jobs (fast food, warehouse, lawn care, etc). Not that any of those jobs aren't good enough. Obviously he has tried to get them for a reason. Either he is over-qualified or under-qualified.

    We have no savings. We cannot afford the midwife. Our rent house is disgusting and not fit for a home birth. All of this disturbs and distresses my husband. I know he loves us very much.

    My family has made it clear they believe that he does not take care of us. I have cut them off from us for now because of their lack of love and respect.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I consider my duty as well as my husband's to provide for the family. I have five years' experience in childcare and can usually get a job within a week. I will hopefully be going back to work to help my family move into a new place and to prepare for the new baby.

    I know many people who would consider this bad behavior on the part of a wife because she is supposed to be "keeping the home." However, I would argue that part of keeping the home means helping your husband keep your family in one. It is not the desire of either me or my husband that this should happen. I blame society as well as poor leadership of our country rather than blaming my husband. He will continue to look for a job while I work part or full time to pay the bills. Eventually I know God will provide him with the perfect job. As for now, I will also consider my role to care for and love my family.

    I know this does not exactly match this letter however I think it is important that Christian wives don't judge themselves too harshly. I and many other women that feel forced to work outside the home feel guilty all the time because of the times, however I would remind these women that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from sin and death, as well as the restraints of the law.

    Trust God and trust your instincts. God does not consider you less of a woman, wife, or mother because you are doing what is necessary. Throw guilt at the foot of the cross and follow your husband's lead. If he wants you to get a job, respectfully obey and get out there. Working can be a blessing and will help to keep your mind off money and on the needs of the family. Pray for him to find a job and trust that God will have it happen in His time.

  50. My husband has not had a job in 7 months. I am 7 months pregnant with our second child. This is the second time this has happened, through no fault of his own. I love my husband and watch how difficult it is for him to be turned away from the most menial jobs (fast food, warehouse, lawn care, etc). Not that any of those jobs aren't good enough. Obviously he has tried to get them for a reason. Either he is over-qualified or under-qualified.

    We have no savings. We cannot afford the midwife. Our rent house is disgusting and not fit for a home birth. All of this disturbs and distresses my husband. I know he loves us very much.

    My family has made it clear they believe that he does not take care of us. I have cut them off from us for now because of their lack of love and respect.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I consider my duty as well as my husband's to provide for the family. I have five years' experience in childcare and can usually get a job within a week. I will hopefully be going back to work to help my family move into a new place and to prepare for the new baby.

    I know many people who would consider this bad behavior on the part of a wife because she is supposed to be "keeping the home." However, I would argue that part of keeping the home means helping your husband keep your family in one. It is not the desire of either me or my husband that this should happen. I blame society as well as poor leadership of our country rather than blaming my husband. He will continue to look for a job while I work part or full time to pay the bills. Eventually I know God will provide him with the perfect job. As for now, I will also consider my role to care for and love my family.

    I know this does not exactly match this letter however I think it is important that Christian wives don't judge themselves too harshly. I and many other women that feel forced to work outside the home feel guilty all the time because of the times, however I would remind these women that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from sin and death, as well as the restraints of the law.

    Trust God and trust your instincts. God does not consider you less of a woman, wife, or mother because you are doing what is necessary. Throw guilt at the foot of the cross and follow your husband's lead. If he wants you to get a job, respectfully obey and get out there. Working can be a blessing and will help to keep your mind off money and on the needs of the family. Pray for him to find a job and trust that God will have it happen in His time.

  51. I agree with Liz. Pack up your children, their belonging and yours. Don't pay the rent. Use that money for you and your children. He needs to live on the street. Men like this should be horse whipped.

  52. I agree with Liz. Pack up your children, their belonging and yours. Don't pay the rent. Use that money for you and your children. He needs to live on the street. Men like this should be horse whipped.

  53. Move in with your parents and get a job. It is obvious your husband is lazy and self indulgent, for if he truly cared for others besides himself, he would do anything necessary to put food on the table. My husband is a quadriplegic, and he would die before he let us starve or be in the streets. The true reflection of a man is the reflection of his heart, and how he handles tragedy and bad times. I am proud to have the spouse I have in my life, for I know I am truly blessed and safe, for he would never let anything happen to us, he has too much pride in being a true husband and provider. I was married once before to a shiftless man, I prayed to God for advice and was thankful we did not bear children together, all by the grace of God for I did not take any birth control. If he had been the one to be with, I know God would have blessed me with children, but he did not. I heard God's voice very loudly in my ear telling me that this was not the end, not to settle for a miserable life. I am strong willed, intelligent and independent, but I am also a faithful wife who lets my present husband truly be a man in every sense of the word. God brought he and I together, I believe God is OK with someone leaving a horrible situation and letting us do by our own free will, with his gentle guidance. For this, I am very grateful.

  54. Move in with your parents and get a job. It is obvious your husband is lazy and self indulgent, for if he truly cared for others besides himself, he would do anything necessary to put food on the table. My husband is a quadriplegic, and he would die before he let us starve or be in the streets. The true reflection of a man is the reflection of his heart, and how he handles tragedy and bad times. I am proud to have the spouse I have in my life, for I know I am truly blessed and safe, for he would never let anything happen to us, he has too much pride in being a true husband and provider. I was married once before to a shiftless man, I prayed to God for advice and was thankful we did not bear children together, all by the grace of God for I did not take any birth control. If he had been the one to be with, I know God would have blessed me with children, but he did not. I heard God's voice very loudly in my ear telling me that this was not the end, not to settle for a miserable life. I am strong willed, intelligent and independent, but I am also a faithful wife who lets my present husband truly be a man in every sense of the word. God brought he and I together, I believe God is OK with someone leaving a horrible situation and letting us do by our own free will, with his gentle guidance. For this, I am very grateful.

  55. While many of these responses quote Scripture, and many reference personal experiences, I hope you remember that human advice is limited by human understanding. I am so glad that Jesus is Logos - the Living Word. Only He can speak complete and perfect Truth into your specific situation because only He knows it completely (even better than you yourself do) because of His omniscience and omnipresence. Why was it okay for Abigail to "respectfully disobey" her husband's order to give no help to David's men when it was wrong for Queen Vashti to disobey her husband the King's request? Why was it okay for Mary to ask Gabriel "how can this be?" when she was told she would bear a miracle child, but Zecharias was struck dumb for asking the same question about his aged wife? It is because only God knows what lies in the heart. Clearly there was something different going in the hearts of these people in seemingly similar situations to make one reponse justified and another, similar response worthy of punishment. Man looks at the (incomplete picture) outward appearance, but God judges the heart. That is why true Christian living can never be reduced to a method with one prescribed "right" response for any given circumstance. Rather, it is a RELATIONSHIP with Christ - living, personal, and in the present. While there are written commandments that show us right from wrong, there cannot be a "one-size-fits-all" to-do list or answer that covers every individual's situation. Can any law or commandment replace the Living Word that God writes on a believer's heart? What worked in someone else's (albeit "similar") situation may not work at all in your situation. It is true that we are wise to walk with the wise, and that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors - that is to say, it is okay to seek Christian advise from trusted, wise advisors. However, it is NOT okay for that advice to take precedence over what God Himself is advising you to do. Ask Him first. Follow His lead above all others' advice. Don't concern yourself with whose advice sounds the best or which opinion has the most supporters. "There is a way that seems wise to man, but in the end it leads to death". "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."
    My husband gambles at casinos. Over the past 18 years we have been married, there were several times I thought I was truly at the end of my rope, and I would seek advice about what to do. Invariably, I would get many different responses from trusted, Christian advisors (parents, pastors, Christian counselors, prayer partner, books, etc.), often backed by Scripture. But I have never had "success" or peace about any course of action (and I've tried many!) that wasn't expressly given to me by God. Only He knows what is best for my specific situation, taking into consideration all my specific variables and resources (including my husband's disposition and needs and what was in his heart and what was in mine). I found that I was most desperate to "tattle" to someone and hope that that "someone" (pastor, parent) would shame my husband into doing what was right when I had ceased to trust that God was doing a slow but permanent work in him. When I was impatient for change, when it seemed the addiction was getting worse instead of better, that's when I would try to find a "quick fix". I mistook what I thought to be steps backward for God's lack of involvement. I am realizing that God's progress is happening on levels I cannot see, and I am not helping matters by intervening out of fear or impatience. I am learning to trust that "He who began a good work in [my husband and in me] will be faithful to complete it/will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus - that means the work will be complete and he and I will be perfect... tomorrow?...next year? No. In the day of Christ Jesus. When we die. Expecting perfection or an easy trip any time sooner than Glory is unrealistic and unBiblical. May God speak to you directly. May the advice and words of the wise encourage you, but not limit you. May their experiences comfort you (that you are not alone), but not dictate your course. May God alone, sought fervently and continuously, refresh and renew and strengthen and guide you.

  56. While many of these responses quote Scripture, and many reference personal experiences, I hope you remember that human advice is limited by human understanding. I am so glad that Jesus is Logos - the Living Word. Only He can speak complete and perfect Truth into your specific situation because only He knows it completely (even better than you yourself do) because of His omniscience and omnipresence. Why was it okay for Abigail to "respectfully disobey" her husband's order to give no help to David's men when it was wrong for Queen Vashti to disobey her husband the King's request? Why was it okay for Mary to ask Gabriel "how can this be?" when she was told she would bear a miracle child, but Zecharias was struck dumb for asking the same question about his aged wife? It is because only God knows what lies in the heart. Clearly there was something different going in the hearts of these people in seemingly similar situations to make one reponse justified and another, similar response worthy of punishment. Man looks at the (incomplete picture) outward appearance, but God judges the heart. That is why true Christian living can never be reduced to a method with one prescribed "right" response for any given circumstance. Rather, it is a RELATIONSHIP with Christ - living, personal, and in the present. While there are written commandments that show us right from wrong, there cannot be a "one-size-fits-all" to-do list or answer that covers every individual's situation. Can any law or commandment replace the Living Word that God writes on a believer's heart? What worked in someone else's (albeit "similar") situation may not work at all in your situation. It is true that we are wise to walk with the wise, and that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors - that is to say, it is okay to seek Christian advise from trusted, wise advisors. However, it is NOT okay for that advice to take precedence over what God Himself is advising you to do. Ask Him first. Follow His lead above all others' advice. Don't concern yourself with whose advice sounds the best or which opinion has the most supporters. "There is a way that seems wise to man, but in the end it leads to death". "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."
    My husband gambles at casinos. Over the past 18 years we have been married, there were several times I thought I was truly at the end of my rope, and I would seek advice about what to do. Invariably, I would get many different responses from trusted, Christian advisors (parents, pastors, Christian counselors, prayer partner, books, etc.), often backed by Scripture. But I have never had "success" or peace about any course of action (and I've tried many!) that wasn't expressly given to me by God. Only He knows what is best for my specific situation, taking into consideration all my specific variables and resources (including my husband's disposition and needs and what was in his heart and what was in mine). I found that I was most desperate to "tattle" to someone and hope that that "someone" (pastor, parent) would shame my husband into doing what was right when I had ceased to trust that God was doing a slow but permanent work in him. When I was impatient for change, when it seemed the addiction was getting worse instead of better, that's when I would try to find a "quick fix". I mistook what I thought to be steps backward for God's lack of involvement. I am realizing that God's progress is happening on levels I cannot see, and I am not helping matters by intervening out of fear or impatience. I am learning to trust that "He who began a good work in [my husband and in me] will be faithful to complete it/will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus - that means the work will be complete and he and I will be perfect... tomorrow?...next year? No. In the day of Christ Jesus. When we die. Expecting perfection or an easy trip any time sooner than Glory is unrealistic and unBiblical. May God speak to you directly. May the advice and words of the wise encourage you, but not limit you. May their experiences comfort you (that you are not alone), but not dictate your course. May God alone, sought fervently and continuously, refresh and renew and strengthen and guide you.

  57. I wish I had read Mike's response to this years ago. My husband is self-employed. I helped him with his business, but when the bills kept piling up, we were facing eviction and I was fed up with trying to motivate him I Enlisted in the Army. While I love serving our country and we had a great support system for the kids (husband working out of the house, extended family) the extra income and benefits only made him lazier. He worked part time, racked up more bills and eventually closed his business.
    I have gone from being a homeschooling, submissive wife, loving caring mother to a bitter angry depressed woman. I have gone from a woman that loves and trusts the Lord to a woman that feels abandoned and hopeless. I KNOW the Lord loves me. I KNOW God can and will provide. I just got sick and tired of smiling at a pig. I became weary of protecting my children against a mean and selfish bully. I thought if I became the provider and made sure we had benefits, he would be happy and loving. All it did was ingrain the laziness even further. He sleeps in while everyone else gets up and goes to work or school. He sits around and plays his banjo, does laundry when we have nothing to wear and only starts supper when I get home to help. He is constantly "looking for a good job" but it is all a ruse. I have bought Michael Pearls tapes, loaded them on his iPhone to listen to. his says they make him feel guilty and bad and he doesn't want to feel bad.
    At this point I look at my son and think "Is this how you are going to treat your wife? Is it any wonder you act effeminate, since you can't stand your father?". I look at my daughter and think " Will you marry a bully? Do you already think you should grab the first piece of dog poop that smiles at you? "
    Yes, that is years of bitterness speaking. I love my husband but I do not respect him.
    I have read Debi's book and when I try to implement it, he takes advantage and demands more care.
    I fear losing my children if I separate from him, since I am in the military.
    I have 6 years left to fulfill in my contract. I pray and ask the Lord for His Grace. I feel trapped, bitter and guilty. I feel I have let my children down. I feel I have been head strong stubborn and not sensitive to the Lord's will. I feel I have been weak willed and ran from a problem trying to "fix" it instead of dealing with it head on, kicking the can down the road. God help us.

  58. I wish I had read Mike's response to this years ago. My husband is self-employed. I helped him with his business, but when the bills kept piling up, we were facing eviction and I was fed up with trying to motivate him I Enlisted in the Army. While I love serving our country and we had a great support system for the kids (husband working out of the house, extended family) the extra income and benefits only made him lazier. He worked part time, racked up more bills and eventually closed his business.
    I have gone from being a homeschooling, submissive wife, loving caring mother to a bitter angry depressed woman. I have gone from a woman that loves and trusts the Lord to a woman that feels abandoned and hopeless. I KNOW the Lord loves me. I KNOW God can and will provide. I just got sick and tired of smiling at a pig. I became weary of protecting my children against a mean and selfish bully. I thought if I became the provider and made sure we had benefits, he would be happy and loving. All it did was ingrain the laziness even further. He sleeps in while everyone else gets up and goes to work or school. He sits around and plays his banjo, does laundry when we have nothing to wear and only starts supper when I get home to help. He is constantly "looking for a good job" but it is all a ruse. I have bought Michael Pearls tapes, loaded them on his iPhone to listen to. his says they make him feel guilty and bad and he doesn't want to feel bad.
    At this point I look at my son and think "Is this how you are going to treat your wife? Is it any wonder you act effeminate, since you can't stand your father?". I look at my daughter and think " Will you marry a bully? Do you already think you should grab the first piece of dog poop that smiles at you? "
    Yes, that is years of bitterness speaking. I love my husband but I do not respect him.
    I have read Debi's book and when I try to implement it, he takes advantage and demands more care.
    I fear losing my children if I separate from him, since I am in the military.
    I have 6 years left to fulfill in my contract. I pray and ask the Lord for His Grace. I feel trapped, bitter and guilty. I feel I have let my children down. I feel I have been head strong stubborn and not sensitive to the Lord's will. I feel I have been weak willed and ran from a problem trying to "fix" it instead of dealing with it head on, kicking the can down the road. God help us.

  59. My husband is 100% visionary. And he is a great provider despite his laziness, although we go through some months where we feel the financial pain of his laziness. And it is frustrating. I can't help but agree with the statement: "Most women make the mistake of jumping in and providing, and then they become bitter toward their lazy husbands" The first year and a half of our marriage I was the bread winner. We started our own business in that time and paid off all our debt. My husband is a rock star! But in that time I became quite prideful and full of myself for being our bread winner, housekeeper, cook, financial keeper, bill payer, and always available for all the intimacy. And YES, it did create strong resentment and bitterness towards my husband. I was very, very, contentious. Since then I have done some major repenting for that time in my life! I have quit that job months ago and since then my husband has really stepped it up in our business, but at slow times and in his laziness it is hard to not just storm out of the house and get a job and shove my "motivation" in his face. I know that it would only kill his spirit and break his man-hood and cause depression and stop him from succeeding. He needs to learn hard ways here and there that there is more to being the man than just getting good food and good sex from the wifey. This was a great reminder to hold fast and be cheerful and that there is so much more to remember as a wife. But, there is no better man to do all this for than the one I got!

  60. Pearls,
    I am in a similar situation. We are on a tight budget and can only afford the necessities and God has always provided for them. My husband has a part time job and I am a substitute teacher looking for a more permanent job. My husband is also in school trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. While enrolled in classes last semester he did none of the work and failed the semester. When ever he is not at work he is on the computer or the TV.
    We were going to be short by $300 this month but God provided for everything, except the money for my husband to go to counseling. This has been a stress area for months between us, I feel God is telling Him not to go to counseling. It is making things worse at home and tearing our marriage apart. He took a break from counseling for 3 weeks and things got so much better!! We were happy! I fell in love with him again!! But now he wants to go back. Ever since he said that, things have been miserable and things keep popping up that make it harder for him to go. I feel this is God saying he shouldn't be going. God provided the exact amount of money we needed for this month but nothing for the counseling , to get the money for the counseling I needed to take all the money we had been saving for a vacation he wanted to take this summer and from other places.
    I guess in the long run I'm worried because if I say to him 'you need to find the money for counseling' or 'if you do counseling we can't take this vacation' the he will just turn to his dad, who is very wealthy, and get the money from him. He has done this in the past, when ever he can't have everything he wants instead or working harder or compromising and giving somethings up, he runs to dad and dad gives, and my husband can go back to being lazy. So what do I do? My husband is not providing for us his dad is. His dad is already paying for our rent and his education and our food. How can I encourage my husband to step up, compromise, stop being lazy and act like an adult and not run to dad?
    I keep wishing I could sit down with you and tell you the whole story and ask for your wisdom. There are so many questions I have for you. Please pray for us. I love your Help Meet book! It has help me to be a more Godly wife. Thank you.

  61. It is very odd to me how men react when they lose their jobs. My husband lost a very good job after the downturn...one that he had had for over 20 years. We lost his retirement, our 401K and all benefits. He then lost job after job, with 6 or 7 jobs in as many years. Back when he worked for the big corporation, and they would have a temporary layoff, he would always jump right in and find work. But after having his legs cut out from under him so many times. he began to spiral into hopelessness and laziness. He would sit at the computer all day and all evening long, putting in resumes. He atrophied in every way. The couch and the TV became his comfort, more so than ever before. I did everything I could to encourage him and to make sure that he knew I loved him. I was having relatives nag me to get a job. His last bout of unemployment lasted about 6 months. I was offered a job the next day at a ministry, making a small salary. He wanted me to take the job, so I did. First mistake! I am certain, now, that if I had appealed to him he would not have made me take the job. I was very miserable in the job, began to resent him as he atrophied even more, and began to struggle mightily with respecting him as I should. He had no need to be urgent, because my little bit of money, along with his unemployment check, was just enough to keep us from going under. Our home was being neglected, I had no energy to be a keeper at home as well as a secretary to ungrateful people. Meanwhile, I felt guilty because I was getting so much pressure from outside family and friends to stay in the job. It is not my job to provide for our family -- it is my husband's job to provide, my job to support and help him and our children. I was told by well-meaning people that I was helping him by working outside, but the inside of our marriage was suffering because I was taking away his incentive for working... even as little as it was. I finally, with his blessing, quit the job, after he got a job paying about half of what he used to make. I am still working, but more from our home now. Even that, I strive to keep a balance. If I am burning it up and making lots of money, I am taking over his place. We stay on the edge of poverty and some of it could be changed if I were to "take over" and really go gangbusters on my home-based business. I do not believe God wants me to do that. My priorities must be to honor the Lord, be a loving and sassy lover and homemaker for my husband, to invest in my mostly-grown children and someday grandchildren, and to minister through the church and then, lastly, to create and sell my work as a blessing to my husband and our home (not to overtake his God-ordained place as our leader and provider. Hard to do and I am still trying to figure it out. It is a daily walk on the wire as I try to learn to truly trust the Lord. Men often and usually do the opposite that they need to do, when they lose their jobs. We must learn to seek the Lord and be wise women.

  62. I believe so many of us are confused as to what God wants from us. He says to submit, He does not say to enable. Submission is a woman's role, provision is the man's role. We as women must learn to walk in our roles, it is what God has commanded and expects from us. Do not be deceived!!!

  63. This article is perfect as is, and is useful for stopping enabling of thinking-laziness in the husband who makes a good income, yet wont think enough about parenting or finances.

    I totally disagree with the comment advice about the wife getting a full time job and a place of her own. That would ruin her husband's motivation to get a place for his family. He would feel rejected, and literally WOULD be rejected. That is feminist advice. The children are better off living with grandma and mom, and how sweet to have that extra time together. The wife of "Bring Him Home" fame, through the AboveRubies. org website, didn't have family to live with, so got public assistance and was super frugal and grew food, no car, to keep the home so her prodigal husband could find them when he came back after abandoning them over and over, a career criminal & adulterous husband. Took 12 years to fully reconcile. She didn't get a job so she could be home when he came back, cooked him supper every night, kept the house amazing and the children homeschooled and respectful toward their prodigal father. Amazing, miraculous story of unconditional love and wifely submission in the face of extreme circumstances. Another wife used to be regularly locked out of her house by her husband, yet slept on the porch, then cheerfully made him breakfast when he let her in. Trusting God and the husband for housing & survival food/clothes seems to be a theme among successful reconciliations, of which our marriage is one of the God glorifying statistics. Women working full time outside the home during marriage seems to be a theme among most broken marriages.

    I agree with Michael Pearl in his article, Lazy Husbands, and Abusive Husband. We are to love our spouse as Jesus loved us and empowers us to unconditional love, not real popular in America today I've noticed. See dictionary "love". No loyalty, basically a business deal. The focus during separation should be constant effort toward reconciliation, not setting up a new life that will be comfortable whether reconciliation happens or not. Then the wife would have to say no to reconciliation when the husband wants to come live in her new place with her. It HAS to be a place where it is NOT the wife's decision whether he live there or not, or he will feel rejected or judged harshly by his wife. Her getting her own place, puts her in a position of authority over her husband, not conducive to a husband adoring his wife and wanting to provide for her. Her job outside the home makes her not available for being his helper on his schedule, and limits her mothering as well. #1 concern should be God's glory, and marriage reconciliation trumps a successful life without a dead beat husband, who in reality, needs the compassion of his promised best friend wife, because he is hurting or discouraged somehow, and that is why he is lazy. Not all laziness is caused by being inconsiderate.

  64. This is all too sad, but someone said you shouldn't leave your behusband and move in with your parents and I agree; no matter how unbearable the situation is, and I'm sure no woman would be thrilled to have to handle all that. And it is true that spouses can have really hateful behavior; however, leaving your husband may open the separation/divorce door and ruin your history with him. Praying night and day will surely be an invaluable tool.

  65. In August I will be married for 6 years but I have recently separated from my husband for almost 3 months now, because he keeps quitting his jobs within months of having them. I feel he's taking me for granted. Before being separated we would argue all the time over a lot of trivial things. One being he doesn't have a license or car but he was always criticizing my driving. Although I have been driving before I even met him.

    When we first met he told me that nobody wanted to hire him because he had a record, but that record was twenty years ago. So I figured everybody makes mistakes and if he's been out of jail that long I couldn't understand why nobody would give him a chance to redeem himself, if he wanted to earn an honest living. So I started applying for jobs for him and filling out applications. Which was alright at first until, he would have me filling them out and he would be downstairs watching TV or going out with his friends. So eventually he got a job. This job lasted for a couple of years. While working at this particular job which was in a bar/restaurant setting, I notice my husband would start drinking more and more heavily as the time went on. Well one day he started complaining to me about how a few of his co-workers who didn't have as much time in as he did were making more money than he was. Now I could see that this was having a negative effect on his behavior because he was drinking uncontrollably. So I told him that if this job is getting you that depressed then maybe you should quit that job. So he did.

    However, I didn't expect this type of behavior to keep happening with every job he received. It would start off " I got a job. I like it there. The people are real nice. The boss said I'm the best worker he had there in a long time...Then maybe 3-6 months later... These people are getting paid more than me, but I do more work than anybody. The boss is a racist. He made me clean the bathroom or something. The boss yelled at me. This isn't slavery time. I quit."

    Every time I would go through this I would hope and pray that my husband would keep the next job he gets. I know I was stupid for letting this go on for so long, but I just kept hoping that things would be different, but it never changed...

    Like I said earlier, my husband and I are now separated, but I'm having a problem with people telling me that we need to get back together and work it out. Like I'm supposed to accept that he doesn't want to work.

    I don't want to go against God's word and get a divorce, because he not I have committed adultery, but it's not fair for my pastor to preach on how it's wrong for the wife to leave her husband without also preaching on how the husband is the head of the household and is suppose to provide for his family. My husband is very knowledgeable of the Word of God. So he know what he's doing is wrong. As his wife how do I handle this situation correctly and with Godly fear? I don't want to stay separated but I was hoping this time apart would make him be more responsible.

    1. Hi Thelma,
      Thank you for your comment. As to how I would handle the situation, I would recommend that you read Created to Be His Help Meet http://nogreaterjoy.org/shop/created-to-be-his-help-meet-10th-anniversary-edition. As a wife it is not your responsibility to make your husband a godly man/husband, leave that to the Lord. But it is your responsibility to make sure that you are seeking the Lord and striving to be a godly wife. When most couples say their vows, they say "For better or for worse." This time of your life may seem like it is "the worse." But don't lose hope. Fight for your marriage and above all pray for your husband!

  66. I am in my middle 60s and I have seen a big influx of what this woman is going through today's young couples. Our world has changed a lot and The women used to be the moms who clean the house, made dinners took care of the children during the day and laundry etc. the dad used to provide and come home to a safe haven. Nowadays due to the economy and Dynamics of life with women now working being educated a lot of them or the main providers for the house for there are marriage Unfortunately I think The male figure father husband has evolved and is no longer the main figurehead of the family. I think this has affected some of these husbands fathers and they feel they have less responsibility and have less into their marriages. It's really a shame that the cost of living has gone up so much that you were middle-class down to your lower class families now have to have two people working

  67. Reading this article made my eyes leak. The pain is so real, the advice so important.

    It is good to view a trial closely through a magifying glass. But it is also good to move back, and view it through binoculars. Sometimes the best view of all is from a great distance away, as if through a telescope, viewing it where it fits in the narrative of history. Let's climb a hill and look through binoculars. What is there to see? We see the wife and mother sharing the same predicament with church and state. A wife wants to provide when her husband won't. The church wants to nurture where parents don't. The state wants to teach where parents and church aren't. It is the natural thing to jump in and satisfy an obvious need. But each context comes with consequences. Where God told man to provide, he must. Where God told parents to teach, they must. Why? Both the article and the comments illustrate it, God not here to enable, but to redeem. Praise him!

  68. She said he is not a Christian and those words from scripture were directed toward unruly Christians. Does a man who is not born again have the power to do what is right when he is bound in laziness, fear, etc?

  69. These days young men seem to have lost male pride and sense of duty, and are only too happy to let 'empowered' women do everything (income, household, child rearing) while they play video games.

  70. I found this to be quite helpful, not because Im in a simular situation, but because we all face situations with people in our lives. Its awesome when you can get Bibical advice from someone outside your circle. Who sees it as it is, with no emotional connection.

  71. thank you! i am not in this situation exactly, but my husband has a lot of ideas i think are bad and disagree with. i needed inspiration on how to keep my dang mouth shut and just lovingly support him. in reality, his ideas aren't leading us into doom, or poverty. i needed this today, i don't know why i struggle keeping perspective sometimes. i need to be a more humble and supportive wife. how can i be so blind when others are facing things like this? i'm not disobedient in deed, but i am disobedient in thought and things i say. thank you for publishing these stories, it helps.

    annie

    1. Hello Annie,
      Thank you for your comment! Beth Determan coordinates a page on Facebook that addresses many of these issues and offers encouragement to wives! She wrote this article a few months ago that you may find insightful:
      https://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/nature-man-woman/
      Debi's newest book "The Hidden Help Meet" is an in-depth study on the topic of honor and submission that has blessed many! https://nogreaterjoy.org/shop/hidden-help-meet

  72. WOW! At first, I was about to pull out the heavy artillery and show no mercy. But I've learned how to keep my mouth shut long enough to read all the way through and really try to understand the intent of what someone is saying. It's not the easy, comfortable answer. But honoring and respecting, without enabling and suffering. I like it. Thank You! (From a wife who allowed some natural consequences, and is now reaping the beautiful rewards with an AWESOME husband, who has confidence and self-resect of his own now)

  73. From the Wife:
    The only thing I would add is to recommend two of my favorite books that have been very helpful to me in difficult circumstances. The first is "Prison to Praise" by Merlin Carothers. It encourages one to remain in praise and thankfulness no matter the circumstances. The second is "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian. Since it is very difficult for a wife to do nothing, this book gives her something to do. There is a prayer for every day of the month and it keeps one from simply praying for their own will. The prayers are based in Scripture, many of which are included after the prayer.

    From the Husband:
    The hardest thing for most of us to do is to not try to be Holy Spirit to those around us. But if we will only stay out of His way we will be amazed at what He will do. If a spouse/parent/child/friend will simply stand aside and pray, Holy Spirit will work miracles.

  74. Early in my marriage, my husband told me he was quitting his job to go to school and that I needed to go to work. I thought I had to submit, so I did. I had a 1.5 yr old, and it tore me up to do it.

    Then Created to be His Helpmeet came out, along with this article, and it helped inform some hard decisions I had to make. First, I began transitioning from working outside of the home to working at home every opportunity I could. I pushed myself to learn how to teach online classes even though I wasn't a technology expert. I also pulled back from working as much. I did these things as respectfully as possible, and under the radar.

    However, when I recently did not get a renewed contract on some work I was doing, my husband demanded that I go back to work full time and stop homeschooling. At the same time, he was not working even though he had a job offer. I knew I needed to take a stand on being a keeper at home. It was a really really hard time in how he acted out towards me, and in getting through the circular conversations about how I felt. I tried to find ways to obey his demands to the extent that I could, which included applying for jobs and even interviewing. When I got offers I discussed them with him and of course prayed prayed prayed. At the same time, I was building my home-based business to bring in income.

    In the end, he said I could hold off on full time work until we couldn't make our house payment. I got a miracle offer for part time/online that paid more than I could have imagined. And he went back to work. The interesting thing is how the interviews I did have helped me make connections that are benefiting my home-business.

    We still aren't making nearly what he wants, but it's been a year now, and I'm still homeschooling and have not defaulted on the house payment. God keeps bringing me smaller jobs, but I am no longer the bread winner.

    The good news is that he has quit spending more than we make. (Our credit lines maxed out during that time.) He has become much more content with my cooking vs eating out all the time, and stays home more doing things with the kids vs going to movies etc. I praise God for being our provider and making a way. I deeply regret not doing this from Day 1. I was too busy my son's whole life. But it is different now for the younger children, and I thank God for it.

    Thanks for the article that helped give me the backbone I needed.

  75. Dear Mike - Your answer is the best answer I have ever heard for dealing with a man who refuses to work. This is rampant in our society and women become enablers. They grow to disrespect and hate their husbands. My Grandmother, married to an alcoholic who wouldn't work or provide for their 8 children, gave my sister and I wise counsel as newlyweds many, many years ago. She said, "The day I got a job, is the day he never worked again." Her job barely paid for food for the table. My Dad grew up hungry and without basic needs met. Grandma was wise but the application came too late for her. All of this requires trusting God and looking past the man as the provider and appealing directly to our Heavenly Father. God can give joy in the most dire circumstances and he can flood an obedient wife with peace as she trusts that God will take care of her.

    We had a close family member (who did not have children yet) whose husband wouldn't get a job. Words like "leaving" and "divorce" were heard. Our counsel to the wife? Never say "divorce" and quit your job. She made arrangements to quit within the month and she meant it. He found a job.

    Kudos to you for calling it straight!!!

  76. Dear Mr. Pearl,
    This response to this poor lady with a lazy husband in a pretty desperate situation was perfect! Wow, there was so much you advised that neither I nor my husband would have thought to say.
    My husband did want to add that this man needs to be saved! Also, She should pray that God will draw him. John 6:44
    Invite a pastor over for supper regularly and have him speak of the Gospel often. He will work once he is saved. John 14:23 But, more importantly he will be saved! He will teach and model the Gospel to the children!
    We are so grateful for your books and articles. I often imagine you and your wife sitting on my couch in my living room giving me advice for loving my husband and training my children! Thank you so much!
    Jessie
    Mom of 2yr old and 9 mos old, husband to hard working man who loves God

  77. I have a friend who is going through a marriage problem along the same lines as this lazy husband that you just spoke of. And she's going all about it the wrong way trying to shame him into being the man she thinks God wants him to be. Years ago I remember a story that either you told or wrote about I can't remember which, about a young lady who married an unsaved man and he became abusive. The husband worked the night shift and she would dress up and have breakfast ready for him when he walked in the house each morning. One morning he brought his whole crew of men with him for breakfast. She happily made breakfast for all of them. She would tell others good things about him and his talents. He overheard these things and eventually was saved and became a man of God, loving and leading his wife. I wonder if you could repost that and send me a copy that I could send to my friend. Thanks so much.

    1. Hello Teri,
      Thank you for reaching out! You are referencing a story that was shared in Created to Be His Help Meet. You can find it on page 248 of the 10th Anniversary Edition, or in Chapter 22 if you have an older edition!
      ~MV