My Husband Wants Me to Work – Is the Wife Responsible?

3. My Husband Wants Me To Work

As I continue discussing I Can’t Be a “Keeper At Home” Because … this is the wife’s part of My Husband Wants Me to Work.

What if your husband’s desire for you to work is due to sin in your life?

It is so easy to recognize problems another is having but it is much harder to be aware of our own sin.

Wives need to be sure that sinful behaviors and attitudes of their own are not the cause for a husband wanting the wife to work.

Sinful behaviors that might cause a husband to say a wife must work.

1. Over Spending

Do you spend too much money each month? Does the balance on the credit cards continue to go up while you are only able to pay the minimum? Are you a regular at the mall?

You are the slave to whomever you owe money!

Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. ESV

2. Poor meal planning

Do you spend too much on groceries by buying prepackaged meals and instant meals? Are you constantly having to buy fast food to feed the family due to time issues and poor planning?

Proverbs 6:6-8
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.
7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,
8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.

Proverbs 31:15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. ESV

3. Expensive hobbies

Do your hobbies eat up too much money? Does scrap book supplies eat all the excess money? Are you constantly starting a new craft idea, with the all the necessary supplies, yet never profiting from it.

Proverbs 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. ESV

Proverbs 31:18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. ESV

4. Personal care

Is a $40 plus haircut every six weeks a necessary item? Does perming, straightening and coloring eat up $100’s of dollars a year? What about fancy braiding or hair pieces?

Do you purchase salon shampoo and all the extra sprays, gels, and other products? What about tanning booths and waxing? Manicures and pedicure? Expensive perfume? Makeup?

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. ESV

1 Timothy 2:9-10
9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

5. Clothing

Where do your purchase your clothing? Malls and boutiques? Must you have the latest style? Do you have clothes that have never been worn sitting in your closet? How many pairs of shoes (i.e. Imelda R. Marcos)? Do you change purses as often as clothes?

Proverbs 31:17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. ESV

Proverbs 31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. ESV

1 Timothy 2:9-10
9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

6. Luxury items

Expensive coffees and lattes ($5 for 200 days = $1000). Magazine subscriptions? Are you fond of jewelry? Even costume jewelry adds up in price.

Luke 15:13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. ESV

7. Discontent

Do you talk constantly about wanting a larger house or a new car? Moving to a more upscale neighborhood? Want to take big trips such as skiing and the beach?

Furniture is too old and outdated? Need new carpets? Want to remodel the kitchen?

Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

1 Timothy 6:6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, … ESV

8. Lazy

Do you pay others to do what you could do yourself? Do you pay $10 – $15 dollars for the kids haircuts when you can do them yourself for much cheaper? Do you want a maid? Pay for lawn work that you could do?

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. ESV

Proverbs 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. ESV

9. Expensive habits

Movies, cable TV and cell phones eating all your money? Do the children really need cell phones with unlimited calling and text messaging? There is a never ending list of items that could eventually eat away at your money.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. ESV

10. Shopping to feel good

Do you go shopping when stressed? Do you buy things in order to lift your spirits?

Proverbs 25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. ESV

11. Living without any cushion

Does your family spend all the money each month such that when an emergency occurs it must be charged on credit cards? If the washing machine tears up must you take out a loan or use credit? Do you not keep any money set aside for emergency repairs and expenses? Remember something will break you can count on it!

Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. ESV

Proverbs 22:3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. ESV

12. Are you paying the “foolish tax?”

I don’t remember where I heard this term but it is fitting. Is your family still paying for foolish mistakes from years ago? Like still paying for the large TV that got broken. Paying for college loans and yet you aren’t even working in that field? Paying for a house you had to sell at a loss? Making payments on a car that you don’t have? Paying for a vacation that you hardly remember anymore? Still paying for Christmas presents that the kids didn’t like anyway or broke the first week?

Count the cost:

Luke 14:28-30
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not S first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

13. Spoiled children

Must your children have stylish clothes? Do your children insist on certain brands and labels? Coloring, perming and styling children’s hair? Won’t wear hand-me-downs?

Can you not walk in your child’s room for the number of toys strewn everywhere? Video games, Cd’s and Wii eating up your money? Cell phones for each child?

Does your child refuse to take a lunch to school? Drink colas all day instead of water or cheaper drinks? Always snacking on chips, candy bars and ice cream instead of fruit? Picky eaters? Eating expensive cereals and breakfast items instead of cheaper items?

Are you stopping at Mickey D’s for meals? Buying “Happy Meals” instead of cheaper items? Ordering pizza is a regular meal?

Are your children always wanting what they see on TV?

What about sports and after school activities? How much do you really spend on these things when added up? Fees, uniforms, trips, travel, food, snacks and stress all add up.

Are you setting your child up for future failure by giving them too much and not requiring them to work for it?

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ESV


Surely no one does all of these things. You may actually do very few of them. But we all tend to have our areas of weakness where we easily fall into temptation. The problem is we rarely recognize it in ourselves.

Most of these activities are not sinful but when they are excesses that affect the family’s finances they can be serious problems.

Try asking a trusted friend. A real friend, one that is not shy about telling you exactly what she thinks without mincing words. Ask her where she sees you and your family spending too much money. Ask what she sees as excesses in your life that could be weeded out.

If you are really, brave and want to honestly know, ask your husband where he thinks you are over spending.

But be sure to prayerfully consider the advice instead of becoming defensive about it.

But be honest and admit that there are spending habits that you may have that affect your whole family and may be the reason your husband says you must work.


2 thoughts on “My Husband Wants Me to Work – Is the Wife Responsible?

  1. Hi. Thank you for the article but you did not address what to do Biblically when your husband wants you to work because of his overspending. What should a wife do when she is working full-time and having a hard time taking care of the home because her husband wants her to work so that he can have more stuff. Thanks! 🙂


    Berean Wife Reply:


    However, how you deal with an overspending husband is dependent upon whether or not he is a believer. If he isn’t a believer then the best option beyond his coming to the faith is to show how he would benefit more by having his wife at home than by the extra money she brings in working. If you really record the expenses often a wife will find her income is used up in fast food, daycare, taxes and paying others to do what she could do if at home each day.

    If your husband is a believer then you must determine if he is sinning or just being an unwise steward. If it is sin the sharing the scriptures that cover the issue would be helpful. If it is just unwise stewardship then maybe looking at some financial planning information would be helpful. Pray that the Lord will open his heart to those in need. Nothing like experiencing the true poverty of others to open our eyes to our selfish desires. Maybe your husband is spending lots of time with other unwise stewards; the keeping up with the “Joneses” syndrome. Needing a moterbike because his friends all have one. Needing a newer car because his car isn’t as new as the other guys. Another option would be to have a wise elder discuss the matter with your husband.

    But above all prayer, prayer, prayer.

    Berean Wife


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