With a title like this there is little room for dilly-dallying along the way to the answer. So without much introduction, here is the tip that could save your marriage: Get a part-time job.

There. That’s it. Husbands, if you want to save or strengthen your marriage, get a part-time job.

I should say right off the bat that I am not talking about a literal job that will pull you away from the home for more hours. Instead I’m arguing for the husband to approach his time at home with his family with the same thoughtful intentionality and engagement that he would if he were to go to work.

Far too many marriages are suffering because the husband comes home mentally, physically and emotionally zapped from his work day. He has done well as the provider for the home and now he is going to come home and collapse into a lazy-boy (aptly named) or in front of a computer or some other process of decompression and relaxation from a tough day at work. This type of thing may be ok occasionally but if practiced regularly it will lead to major problems.

Years ago after starting a new job I came home mentally and emotionally drained several days in a row. Laying on the floor “resting” became my default posture. One day my wife walked over and said, “Hey, we don’t want your left-overs. Don’t give everyone else your best only to serve us left-overs.”

This hit me like a ton of bricks. My wife and family were grateful that I was providing, but they were not content with a mere provider. They wanted a dad and a husband. In other words, there is more to the job of being a husband than just making money. He needs to be thoughtfully, intentionally, and continually engaged in the home.

This is why the illustration of having a second job in the evenings works so well. As husbands we must come home with at least, if not more engagement than we would have at work. Husbands come home to lovingly lead their families. They need to be serving their wives by listening, learning, nourishing, and shepherding them. We can’t do that when we are “recovering” from work or checking out for some much needed “me” time. The job description for a husband entails thoughtful intentionality. We have got to be in the game and doing our job.

It would not be a stretch to say that over 90% of the marital counseling I have done as a pastor involves the husband sleeping at his post in one way or another. He hangs his hat on being the provider while neglecting his role as shepherd-leader of the home. Fixing this will not solve everything but it will drastically improve a lot of things.

So husbands, let me challenge you to come home from work like you are going to work at a job you love in a place you love. Come alongside your wife to talk, listen, and learn her. Play with the kids. Do some chores. Make some jokes. Read the Bible. Pray together. Play a game. Make some dessert. Fix something that broke. Flirt with your wife. Sit and talk. Whatever you do, do it heartily and intentionally like a guy who is there, engaged with his family not escaping from his family.


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20 thoughts on “Husbands: A Tip that Could Save Your Marriage”

  1. Paul Deakin says:

    You nailed me man. I will follow your advice. My wife thanks you.

  2. Doug says:

    Erik, Well said and thanks for the good advice. A conversation with a young couple recently has caused me to question where we get the idea of husband being “provider”? One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh – the Lord will provide. Perhaps, many of us are promoting this problem in marriages by promoting an aspect for husbands that ought to be left with the Lord?

    1. Chad Davis says:

      The context makes clear that the “provision” in view is physical provision. Obviously, God is the ultimate provider, but – as a general rule – a man is called to be the means by which that provision comes to his family.

      1 Tim. 5:8 – “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

      1. Doug says:


        If I’m not mistaken, the verse you gave is not referring to husbands, but to relatives in general, and the provision is for widows. It is saying “children need to materially help their widowed mother…if they have the means.”

        It seems to me, from the beginning God set the first couple to the task of first; making children, then second; dominion work. They were to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, expecting the Lord to provide. This was vividly played out for 40 years as Israel wandered in the wilderness. The Lord, not husbands, provided manna.

        What I see today is couples placing work and financial “security” above relationship and procreating disciples. Genesis 1:28 is practically read as “Subdue the earth and rule over it, then be fruitful, multiply, and fill it.” Could this be because husbands have supplanted God as provider in the minds of many?

  3. Bill says:

    I wonder how wives and children feel about their husbands’ relational role in the home being likened to a part-time job. I say think through this one again.

    1. Samantha says:

      My thoughts exactly. I also don’t like the asumption that the husband is the sole provider. Many Christian families have both spouses working, which both the husband and wife come home tired. What does that say about the wife?

      1. Emily says:

        I think this post is directed toward the couple who has small children and the husband is coming home to a wife who has been with the kids all day and doesn’t work outside the home. This is a reasonable assumption in a Christian household, and it would be impossible for the author to include every caveat or alternative situation. Personally, as a mom with young children, I can relate to this post because I’m a homemaker… my husband works an outside job while I manage the home and care for the kids. So I “provide” too but not in a monetary sense (which works out fine for us). There are times that I feel he comes home and checks out mentally (wants to veg or relax) while I am still “at my post”. I definitely appreciate it when he comes home and plays with the kids or household tasks. We are a team, and even though I don’t wish to “level the playing field”, it does go a long way when he engages with us although he’s clocked out of his job for the day.

        Of course the advice would be different if it were two young professionals with no children who both work full-time.

      2. Jennie says:

        My husband and I both work, and I actually earn considerably more than my husband – and yet I find this article very relevant – even if our situation isn’t exactly called out.

    2. Kelly says:

      Agreed! As the primary breadwinner in our house, I need my husband to take our family more seriously than he does his actual part time job.

  4. Bbax says:

    I think we need to challenge the notion of provider AND what is necessary for survival vs our temptation to keep up with the Joneses. We have been sold this idea that everyone needs a bedroom and private bath, a personal laptop and tv, cell phone, three cars for the family, a bulging retirement, and appliances with stainless steel instead of boring white. It’s no wonder so many parents, particularly men, work their first job so hard and phone in their home time. It’s out of balance. Way it if balance. If the family wants more dad, it should mean cut backs of financial expectation. Not….grind dad in the mill.

  5. Sheldon says:

    I think you missed the point bill and samantha. It’s a call for husband’s to engage their families, not to treat them like a job but to put forward the effort we so easily miss-place in our efforts to provide at the cost of becoming the stranger who comes in the front door after a day of work. As far as a 2 income family, that’s a different topic. This is a call to husband’s to be more than monetary providers and sperm donors.

  6. Calvimist says:

    Honestly? This why being single is extremely underrated – you have time to love and serve, but then a lot of time can be invested in the arts, literature, philosophy, music, Jonathan Edwards, cooking, Lloyd-Jones, aesthetics… Bliss I tell you. God is good.

  7. Chuckt says:

    I hope the family likes watching t.v. on the floor because there will be no furniture.

  8. Oliver says:

    As a guy who’s just become a father and just returned to work after a two-year gap, I for one say thank you. This is a great exhortation toward giving of oneself beyond what the world says is necessary and more in line with what Scripture demands. If I’m too tired for my family ‘job’, or more likely I just want ‘me’ time more than I want to serve them, something is wrong. Another commenter made a good point: in my work, extra money can be made at the expense of time at home. A simpler life will mean a happier family, I think.
    Thank you both.

  9. Jean says:

    As a stay at home mom for 18 years, I’ve learned to take on more responsibility to help my husband. He works long days running our business. I have been bitter in the past but I have been led to follow the lessons on love in 1 Corinthians 13. It has helped me to be content and happy. “Love never gives up.
    Love cares more for others than for self.
    Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
    Love doesn’t strut,
    Doesn’t have a swelled head,
    Doesn’t force itself on others,
    Isn’t always “me first,”
    Doesn’t fly off the handle,
    Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
    Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
    Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
    Puts up with anything,
    Trusts God always,
    Always looks for the best,
    Never looks back,
    But keeps going to the end.”

  10. Chuckt says:

    The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional: 365 Devotions …

    Debbi Bryson – 2013 – ‎Religion
    “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work make Nancy a spoiled girl.” The Bible tells us, “Let your moderation be known to all men” …

  11. Lisbeth says:

    Any thoughts on how to do this practically? My husband and I like this article very much and agree with this. We live in this tension of “if he can’t rest at home, when can he rest?” We find that when he comes home from his 9-5, he’s depleted and does better engaging after re-charging (whether that’s a short nap or time at the gym). We don’t have children yet, but when we do, he probably won’t have time to fit in a nap or the gym. How does he have the strength to re-engage for the rest of the day? What about his limitations?

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Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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