MEN AS PROVIDERS
Dr. Phil Chavez
Every man wants to be known as one making a vital contribution with his gifts and abilities. What man does not want to provide the solution or find the link to unravel a mystery? Every man wants to invent that clever design, or be one who has discovered the remedy. A man desires capability and preparedness to rise up to any task. To tackle any difficulty. To resolve any quandary. Every man wants to be the provider.
When a challenge arises every man wants to know he “has what it takes.”
In Genesis God bestowed upon man a Garden to maintain; and he was given the commission as the main breadwinner of the family. Every man would like to hear from his wife: “You are a great provider.” “I admire the way you did that.” “You have much skill.” “I am deeply grateful for all your abilities.” I remember a woman once blurting out at a conference: “What good is a man anyways if he can’t fix a toilet!”
No question, every woman wants a man who can do things and get the job done.
Even at an early age, every male has the natural aptitudes and desires of a provider. Little boys want to use their hands to create, to build, to produce—and yes, to demolish! You see your father working on an engine, toiling in the yard, laboring in the garage, and you want to be a part of that effort. So without asking you pick up the wrench, empty the grass catcher, reach for the broom. A benevolent father makes room for his son to peer over his shoulder.
A boy wants to engage in his father’s activities so he can feel a vital part of his project.
Adolescents need concerted training to learn the skills requisite to become “men.” Young lads want to know how to fix an engine, to build an addition, to hunt, to camp, to fish. A discerning father invites a boy into a man’s world, into a man’s endeavors. If a boy does not examine the machinery in the factory and put his hands on the controls, he will break into that warehouse and destroy the machinery he gets his hands on!
Boys must be shown how to be constructive, or they will become destructive.
Adolescents navigate a strange world where they are barraged with alluring gadgets and electronic devices that can dull their creativity and mar their resourcefulness. Many boys today have mastered hallucinating hand-held devices but cannot wield a hammer or screwdriver. What a shame. Programs should be organized whereby growing youth receive mentoring to become competent, dexterous men.
Adult men must be creative to provide opportunities for adolescents to learn vital skills.
While there exists much drive in males of every age to build or fashion something, their talents must be checked with humility. All need the realization: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Ps 127:1). Otherwise, the provider in every male may default into a scrooge who seeks self-profit and miserly gain. And, looking to the future, he may find himself driven to forge a retirement plan that thwarts his path of genuine integrity and holiness.
God is the master builder who provides the grace and spirit enabling the provider.