I had an opportunity to write an article for the November/December edition of Family Foundations magazine about the role of head-of-household as provider for his family. In the essay, I share my thoughts on how to identify opportune times for career change. I finished the essay with these tips:
Understand that it is God who provides. It’s easy to consider myself the provider, but I try to remember who really provides. God created the heavens and the earth; all things come from God. We are fortunate, however, in that God allows those of us in the workforce to participate with Him in the process of providing. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we have to do it all by ourselves. Pride tempts heads-of-households into thinking that they are the sole source of their family’s home, food, clothing, and vacations.
Doubt also is a temptation. Sometimes, when things are bleak, it appears that God won’t provide. It appears that we won’t have all that we need. Facing such challenges, let scripture be your comfort. Matthew 6:31-33 and Luke 12:28-31 assure that if we seek God first, He will provide. Also, recall the story about Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Those people came out for the day to listen to Jesus and He took care of them; He didn’t send them home hungry. This story about God providing is so important that, other than the resurrection, it is the only miracle chronicled by each of the Gospel writers.
If God provides, risk is easier to accept. Life is full of risk, which is really just a synonym for uncertainty. We cannot foretell the future. But, then again, we don’t have to. God provides. If God cares even about every sparrow (Matthew 10:29-30), then certainly He cares about you and your family. He will not abandon you. He may not always give you what you think you need, but you will be fine. Some of those 5,000 people might have wanted fruit and beef instead of bread and fish, but they were OK.
Don't be foolish. It is easy to be tempted by get-rich-quick schemes. We all hear those ads on the radio and see those pop-ups on the internet that promise “an extra $1,000 to $5,000 per day.” But the fact is, there are no shortcuts to providing for your family. The only reliable way to make money is to work for it. Sure, every now and then someone strikes it big making money through a scheme that demands little or no work, but most people who are well off worked for years to obtain whatever level of financial security they have. Remember, raising a family is long-term propject. Nobody needs to get rich by tomorrow. Focus on ways to add real value on a long-term basis and you have a much better chance at financial security than any get-rich-quick scam will ever offer.
Gratitude mitigates want. It is human nature to always want more, but the truth is we don’t always need more. If we focus too much on what we want, it can become easy to miss all the ways that God truly does provide. Most of us are better off thanking God for what we have rather than focusing on what we don’t have. Think about all the things you have been given, including your spouse, kids and job. Thank God for them every day. As gratitude supplants want in your heart and mind, the abundance of God’s provisions becomes beautifully clear.