Monday, March 30, 2015

Providing For Women and Girls

Last week I pulled the same hookam 3 times in both the paper scriptures and on my phone. It was 1 Nephi 6:5
"Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world."
I knew that God was telling me to write this post. And so here it is. It might not be pleasing unto some but it is pleasing unto God.

My friend Heather proposed this idea to me a few years ago when I was receptive to it and I have thought a lot about it since then. It is this: No girl or woman should ever be obligated to provide for herself.

If she is married, this is duty of her husband. If she is not married, then it is the duty of her father or brother or uncle or other male family member. If she has none of those, it is the duty of the community (remember all that talk in the scriptures about caring for the widows and the fatherless).

I am not suggesting that women shouldn't do things or make money doing them. Women can do as they choose. I am saying that they should not have to and should never feel the pressure or anxiety of providing for their temporal needs. Neither should they feel that they would be a burden if they did not provide.

When a man provides for a woman's temporal needs, he is being like God. God is a giver and a protector and a sustainer. God gave that duty to men on earth.

Alma 30:60 says "the devil will not support his chidlren..."

It is the devil who teaches men not to support their children and wives. Or ex wives as the case may be.

The Family, A Proclamation to the World says:

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
I know that circumstances vary greatly, and creative adaptations are often needed, however, most people are not adapting in the way God intended, and they don't even realize they are buying into another version of the illusion.

In the Old testament it is very clear that providing goes even beyond physical needs, and if a husband died his brother was obligated to go in and take his wife and not only support her but give her children in the name of the first husband. (Dueteronomy 25:5) That does seem a little weird by today's standard, but think about it. If you are a woman who wants to bring children into the world and you lose your husband before that can happen, then you are essentially barren until you can get another husband. If you can. Therefore, the brother's sperm donation is providing in an essential way.

The thing is, women are special. Jesus Christ has a special place for women and he always treated them with love. In this he was like God, as he was in all ways. Women have a special work to do on this earth and they can't do it as effectively when they are required to labor for their support. This is true no matter what a woman's age. Just because her children are grow doesn't mean she should be expected to now pay the mortgage. Why are women so special? Well, because what happens to us determines what happens to the whole human race. An elevated woman can elevate her husband just by beaming at him and praying for him. An elevated woman can exalt her whole community. But in order to become elevated, she must not be thinking about her basic needs.

It is clear from the scriptures that a husband is also partially responsible to provide for a woman's emotional health, or at least create the best possible environment for emotional health.
 "Husbands, love your wifes, and be not bitter against them." (Col 3:19)

And the scriptures show that community needs to support this as well:
"When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business; but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken." (Duet 24:5)

When I first read the scripture above I wondered how on earth he was going to support her if he didn't work for a year, but on re-reading it it does not say that. Being "charged with any business" seems to refer to something similar to going to war--some business that the community would need him for that would take him away from his new wife.

There are so many scriptures to study about this and lots to ponder and I'm going to let you do most of that work . But here is one more thought stream.

As you know I am a single mother. I have no father to take care of me. I have no brother or uncle who is willing. If my grandfather were alive he would happily do this. He is a man who understood this duty and always took it seriously. (My grandmother still did what she wanted, but not because he didn't provide.) But my grandparents are gone and the whole child support thing was exposing me to so much toxicity that God told me to release it a few years ago.

In a total leap of faith, I did, and he showed me, slowly at first, that he was my rich father and would always provide. The reason it was slow was because I was slow. When I worried about how I was going to provide, I sent that message to the universe and the universe said "Oh you want to provide. Okay. You go ahead."

Finally, I told him I was done. I was going to be a stay at home mom. And he said okay. Now we have a great thing going where I work when I want, at the things I love (usually it is for Him) and then only about a few hours per week. People think I'm super busy, but that is just because I get a lot done. It is all Grace that gets it done. The rest of the time I am with my daughter being a mom.

For the men who are reading: When you accept this duty to provide it does not mean that you are on your own--unless of course you start to think the thoughts I mentioned above. You are also supported by the Divine. You are at-one-ing with God when you do this. Providing for women and girls in your life is spiritual work. If it is a struggle, then it should show you where you need to work to better at-one with God.

And for women who have no righteous man or community who cares for the widows and fatherless--Believe this: "Thy Maker is thine husband" (Isaiah 54:5)

Trust God and ask him to root out all the unhealthy beliefs you may have about being provided for. Maybe you have a good career and you think it doesn't matter because you have no worries. It's okay to have a career if you want. Women do amazing things everywhere. But still clear the unhealthy beliefs about being provided for, because then God can give you even more abundantly all the things that you need. As Yogi Bhajan says, "the universe will be at your feet."

And for women who have a husband who is not providing, all I can give is the same advice above: root out your beliefs about being provided for. You set the tone for the home. If you are telling the universe you want to provide, or praying for scarcity (as worry is a form of prayer) then all the circumstances and environments will combine to give you that. As I said above, you can elevate your husband by first elevating your self. It is difficult to do this when also trying to provide. But if you allow God to lead you along, he will take care of you and show you what it means to be His cherished daughter.


  1. This is a gorgeous post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic as well as examples from your personal life and how you completely transformed in this area. It is inspiring. :)

  2. I love this! Thanks for your inspired and inspiring words. We have lived this! My whole family is grateful I stepped away from providing and focused instead on my relationship with God and gave that role back to my husband. "Miraculously" my hubby began providing after I began working with Hod on myself. :)

  3. Thank you Felice. As a father and husband who is about to make a leap from a corporate job to one that will require more faith, this is helpful and heartening. I truly believe in and have experienced the power of a righteous woman and the influence she has. I do not want my wife's power and influence to diminish and I believe it would if she were forced by necessity to work a traditional job. She has much work to do, but I hope to never have her strength spent pushing corporate goals forward. There is much more in the life that is more important than shareholder value. The search for self-esteem in a woman will rarely be fulfilled in a corporate boardroom or cubical. But, suggesting anything less seems to offend so many. Your article provides a wonderful alternative for men and women to consider and apply, especially the part about relying on the Lord.