But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. ~ 1 Timothy 5:8
One of the problems facing the modern church is its lack of historical understanding. As Howard King once noted, “We tend to accept without question the things that were already established when we came into the world.” The modern christian was born into the industrial world. Although it is a relatively new system, modern man cannot conceive that life can be lived any other way. Accepting the legitimacy of a system that, as Wendell Berry says, is “built on the firm foundation of the 7 deadly sins and the breaking of all 10 of the 10 commandments” he radically distorts his understanding of God’s Word.
One example of this is found in the common understanding of the text above, 1 Timothy 5:8. The modern christian believes the text to be inspired and true and he takes it seriously. He does the best that his enslaved industrial mind can do. He interprets the text to mean that a husband and father should “get a job and provide for his family”. He should leave home and trade his labor for money. With this money he can buy all things that he could have provided himself if he was home to do it. He buys the best food money can buy at a grocery store, clothes from Walmart, and pays other men to fix thing if they break. He sees his wife and children for a few hours in the evening. His relationship with his wife is strained. She is bored and unsatisfied with her life and husband’s absence. He is tired and mentally exhausted doing a “job” that he doesn’t like and pays no attention to the list of things his wife “needs to talk about” with him. His children are more like strangers every year, strangers that bear his name and live in his house but strangers, none the less. If tomorrow the economy collapsed, just in time delivery ended, or inflation skyrocketed his family could very well be out on the street or standing in the welfare line. If the entire wicked system disappeared his family might well die. How in the world can this be seen as “providing for one’s family”. Would it not be wiser to literally provide at least some of your family’s needs? Could gardens, spinning wheels, hens and a milk cow be the tools needed to work toward a more genuine fulfillment of this scriptural command? It is with certainty that this wicked, modern tower of babel will fall. The question I pose to the christian father and husband is this. When it falls, will you be judged to be “worse than an unbeliever” or will your family survive? It is not an easy question to answer and the implications are far reaching. I pray more men have the courage to step outside of their current mindset and examine these issues more deeply. God give us wisdom.