Mom Primary Breadwinner In 40% Of US Households: Where Are The Men?


A recent Pew Reserch Center analysis found that mothers of children under 18, are the sole or primary source of income for their family in 40% of U.S. households.  Although many have touted this story as a success for women, I believe it says much more about a serious problem with men.  Especially when 63% of the 40% of households where moms are the primary breadwinners are such because the mother is single.

Where are the men?

God has called men to lead in providing for their families (Eph 5:29).  Wives are called by God to help their husbands (Gen 2:18), which most certainly can include helping to provide, but the primary responsibility for provision lies with the man.

Single Mothers

63% of the women who are primary breadwinners are because they are single mothers.  And there has been a significant increase in the amount of single mothers who have never been married in the past.  In 1960 the share of never married mothers was 4%.  In 2011 it was 44%.  This is staggering.

Not only are more and more men getting women pregnant out of wedlock, but they’re not paying for it either.

First of all, men if she’s not your wife, you have no business having sex with her.  God has called you to rise up and protect a woman’s purity, not rise up and take it.

Secondly, if you have impregnated a woman outside of the safety and security of wedlock, you better be busting your butt to provide for your child’s care.  Be a man and take responsibility.  And don’t go thinking that if you had a child inside of marriage, that divorce let’s you off the hook either.  You are still responsible to provide for your child’s care.

One of the most disturbing things about the PewResearch survey is that less people are believing that single motherhood is a problem.  Only 64% say that this growing trend is a “big problem”, down from 71% in 2007.

It is a big problem, and the problem is predominantly a man problem.

No woman should ever be left alone to be the sole provider for her child.  Stop being selfish, men.  Provide for your family.  Step up.

Married Mothers

37% of primary “breadwinner moms” are married.  Again, if a man needs help providing and his wife can do that for him, that’s excellent.  Proverbs 31 commends that and there is nothing in the bible about who should be making more money.

Unfortunately there’s a growing trend of dead beat dads, unwilling and unprepared to pull their weight in the area of provision.  More and more moms are picking up the slack.  That either leaves the kids at home with dad or with someone else.  And that’s a problem.  Children are the ones who suffer in all of this.  This shouldn’t be about fathers and mothers fighting for their rights, but rather fathers and mothers laying down their lives to exercise their God given complimentary roles, for God’s glory and the benefit of their children.

Fathers, you should be doing everything you can to fight for your wife to be able to love you and your children, “working at home” so “that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:4-5).

Some of these mothers want to lead in the area of provision and they want their husbands to be their helper.  There’s a growing acceptance of this role reversal in both men and women.  The problem is that men were not created to be a woman’s helper.  Women were created to be a man’s helper (Gen 2:18).

God has called husbands to lead in providing for their family so mothers are free to fulfill their role to nurture and raise children in the unique way that God created their bodies to do that, for God’s glory and people’s good (husbands, wives, children, and society).

The Hard Truth

The bible has some strong language for any of you men who are not providing for your family:

“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 Tim 5:8)

It doesn’t matter if you profess to be a Christian.  The bible says that if you are not providing for your family, then “you have denied the faith“.  That’s some seriously strong language.

Men, if you are single, get vision for your provision.  Adam, the first man, got a job before he got a woman (Gen 2:5-20).

If you’re married, work hard to lead in your family’s provision (Eph 5:29).

If you’re divorced, fulfill your responsibility to your children and their care.

Be men.  Be responsible.


About Josh Christophersen

Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.

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