A recent feature on the NBC program, “Dateline,” indicates that the secular world is finally catching on to something that the Christian church has been teaching for decades. The report featured Linda Kelley, a home economist, who has written a book entitled “Two Incomes and Still Broke?” The thesis of the book is that the cost of both spouses working often exceeds the income of the second spouse. In other words, does it pay for Mom and Dad to both work and leave the kids for someone else to raise?
One of the reasons the modern family is having so many struggles is because of our desire to have all the goodies that we feel are necessary for fulfillment. Consequently, our nice homes are filled with fabulous gadgets and expensive cars are sitting in the driveway but there is very little joy. We traded the joy of life for credit card balances and bank loans.
John Stossel, on the ABC news show “20/20,” recently called it a myth that American families need two incomes. He reported on a woman who delivers newspapers at 4 a.m. every morning along with her regular job. All this was to supplement her husband’s decent income. However, Stossel noted that they recently purchased a fully-loaded minivan to park next to the pickup and car they already own. This woman was convinced that their family needed the additional money.
God’s Word offers some very practical insight concerning this matter – “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife” (Proverbs 17:1). We are better off to have a dry crust of stale bread than to have a house that is full of stuff accompanied by strife. Families experience strife when we do not have time and energy because we have spent ourselves in the marketplace.
We can no longer excuse our neglect of the family by claiming that both parents must be at work for financial reasons. It may actually be costing us money! It is certainly costing us many things that are more valuable than money.