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Let's be honest . . .


Twenty-three years ago, I moved my wife and five young children to a small town in North Dakota, in what was at that time the wealthiest county in the state. The average income was about twice the state average. I, however, did not work in one of those lucrative industries (coal mining and power plants). imageMy income at the time was below the state average, so I wondered and worried about finding affordable housing in such a place. Things were not looking good on that front, but by the kind providence of God, we found an old house that was so ridiculously small that no one wanted it, which made the price much lower than it would have been pretty much anywhere else. We had three more children in that house (literally), the youngest of which is graduating this week. We had a few difficult years there, but no one starved or went naked. In all those years, and to this day, my wife has not had a job (I almost said “worked,” but I’d rather not get clobbered).

I relate this story not to brag, or to say that it’s always wrong for a wife to have a job, but in response to the tweet below which claims that “Most women have to work for pay in order to provide for themselves and their families,” and “only the wealthy” can live without that second income.

I laugh when I read that, as I have laughed many times in the last three decades when people who earned much more than I have told me how impossible it was to raise their two or three children on one income. One man in particular, a father of three whom I happen to know (because his teenage son had a big mouth) earned four times what I did, and knew our situation, looked me in the eye and, with a perfectly straight face, told me how his wife was going to work because they just couldn’t make it on one income. I could tell at least a dozen more stories like that.

We could do what he couldn’t—more, actually—for one reason: we were content to live with less. We didn’t buy the house we wanted; we bought the house we could afford. We drove old cars, and wore our clothes till they wore out. We didn’t buy our kids all the latest game systems, and we certainly didn’t buy them cars, like most of our neighbors did (why anyone, no matter how wealthy, would rob their children of the experience of working to buy their own is beyond me). We did it because we believed the value of a mother in the home was far greater than any income she could generate outside the home, and we knew it was the scriptural choice (Titus 2:5).

I know there are exceptions—I’ve seen them—but let’s be honest: most Americans who say they can’t live on one income really mean they can’t live like they want to live.



Posted 2019·05·22 by David Kjos
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