Manly provision is, literally, what makes the world go around. The two most essential ways that men provide are through the gift of life: the man of God gives life in the Spirit, the highest form of life; the married man gives life in the flesh. Both of these gifts of life are the foundation of humanity itself.
Men can also give the gift of life even if not married nor consecrated to God. So not only the husband, and the father, but the instructor, the counselor, the philanthropist, the doctor, the factory worker too, the list is endless; each one is providing either goods or services which benefit others. This is provision.
Manly provision is something that, like their gifts of leadership and protection, men are driven to do. The most common form of provision is that of providing a paycheck to his family, and most men do this unwaveringly day in and day out.
In our culture, most women do the same, but the two should not be confused as being equal. When a wife gets a job and provides a paycheck to her family, she is almost always doing this as an auxiliary. Her paycheck might be essential to the family’s needs, and it might even be more than her husband’s paycheck. But no matter, if she were to lose her job, in most cases she would not feel the weight on her shoulders that a man would feel if he were to lose his job. The burden falls squarely upon him to be the ultimate provider for the home, and most men feel this keenly.
A job loss to a man is not the same as a job loss to a woman. Happy is the man who has a wife who understands this. His wife will encourage him and wait patiently while he seeks another job. A woman who doesn’t understand this will nag and pressure him, perhaps even berating him for not keeping up with her own successes.
We live in a culture that, at least as far as the workforce is concerned, is fairly well taken over by women. I know of a public school where, even though the student body is of course made up of a pretty even 50-50 of young men and women, nevertheless, the administration of this school is fully made up of women, with one man serving as a dean. This is a problem that could be addressed in a whole different book, but for now, let’s just say that this is well out of balance.
Above all, where men and women are concerned, the drive to provide is one that is within a man’s soul. We should do our utmost to encourage, affirm and support all that he does to this end.