1 Timothy 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
My friend says that the first time a woman tried to feed a man, everything was ruined and it trickled down thousands of years. She is usually referring to Eve feeding Adam the apple. She uses this to describe the current issues in society. An unfortunate turn of events that have women taking charge as providers in the household while the men sit back and wait.
Unbelievable? Take central Kenya for instance, the rising cases of domestic violence against men. A large percentage of the women cited laziness, drunkenness and refusal to provide for the family as the reason behind their violent rage towards their husbands. While their attempt to reinstate social balance is uncalled for and illegal, it begs the question,
“Where have all the men gone to?” Why are there so many cases of absentee dads and “single wives.”
My mother says that men do not rest. They are infinitely strong and resilient especially when they have children to provide for and educate. The woman has since time immemorial been man’s appointed helper. The wife is a companion and her work is to nurture, to manage the household and to supplement whatever the husband brings.
An article published by the Standard on their digital platform brought to light the “single wife”. She is a married woman who has been left to be sole provider and care giver for the entire family. She is left to make decisions alone and any attempts to help her husband contribute to the family’s well being are met by aloofness or worse, violence.
Many people think loneliness ends at marriage. That after saying “I do”, you are a team that works together towards goals you both believe in. Women have been left to provide for their families alone.
Although the Children’s Act has empowered women by enabling them to take legal action against such men, the ugliness of a court battle deters most of them. Dragging kids through a legal battle seems a bit rash for most women. The women therefore choose to strive and hold their family together. They choose peace.
Some men have sources of income but choose to spend their money on alcohol and “road trips”. They seem to forget that their children need them and refuse to contribute to their physical well-being. By doing so, they trump on their children’s emotional well-being. An absent father, who shows up late into the night, drunk or who is away for days or weeks according to the Guardian, make his children feel ashamed, frightened. They also feel lost, guilty and lonely, unprotected and unloved. Children may develop a negative attitude towards their fathers. A pain and anger especially if they are abusive towards them.
Refusal to grow up
Society has raised men to be strong and to withstand anything. However, most household run by women while their husbands lie around waiting for their “big break” or “A good job” have us thinking there is a shift in social balance. Men in their forties and fifties lying around waiting for things to get better while their wives hold down the fort for decades are not a surprising scenario. They have, according to psychologists, refused to grow up.
The psychology behind absentee dads
Naomi James, a psychologist, attributes such behavior to a lot of things among them lack of genuine friendship between couples before marriage. She explains that some couples never took time to develop a friendship before getting married. They get married even before they can sit and have a conversation and realize later into the union that they have barely anything to say to each other. As a result, men begin to do everything they can to avoid the wives. On absentee dads, she says the reason is the husbands’ refusal to own their role as husband and father.
Some men who have grown up in single mother households or in household with a constantly absent father, are prone to such behavior. This is because they are used to the woman taking charge of the household. They therefore find no fault in leaving everything to their wives.
While it is presumably easier to understand the behavior of the current generation’s husbands as inherited, the older generation really have no basis to leave their duties on their wives’ shoulders.
Flawed Institution of marriage
While mothers find no fault in providing for their families, expenses and the many duties of a home take a toll on a person. This is especially so if they are doing it alone, while, catering for a man’s needs. The institution of marriage is thus flawed in the eyes of the children, especially as they grow up becoming more aware and learning from observation.
By sitting back and leaving everything to the woman, fathers set the example of laxity, running from responsibility and create a flawed legacy for their sons and daughters.