More Than A Dollar
When we consider what a “man” does, we first jump to the word provide.
Make available for; supply
Make adequate preparation for (a possible event)
A person that provides something
In lock step with these definitions, we also immediately assume financially. This thought process reduces the value of a man.
Disclaimer: this isn’t a Kevin Samuels thing or some hotep stuff.
In the past, if I had lost my job or I was working but wasn’t making “enough” money, I would feel worthless as a husband, a father, and a man. At times, I could completely neglect the other (and just as meaningful) things I provided, like my mental and emotional presence. I always felt an immense pressure to be “the man” and to me, it always looked like being the financial provider.
Let me be clear… Leah did not marry me for my money and I feel confident saying that most of us won’t have to worry about gold diggers. Our significant others are with us for everything else we “bring to the table” and the potential they see in us. Hopefully, what we lack in financial abundance, we make up for in other provisions.
We were taught that our value is tied to our financial value but in reality, that is only part of the equation, sometimes the most insignificant. I could be wrong (and please correct me if I am), but we’ve seen rich and lonely men because they could only provide money. We’ve also seen men find success in relationships despite the money, but are wealthy in other areas.
My wife supported me through financial highs and lows, throughout it all, I’d like to believe it was because she believed in what else I could provide and that I would continue to grow. In many ways I have, and I seek to continue growing. Hopefully, she feels the return on her emotional and physical investment in me.
Men are supposed to be providers.
We can provide more than money.
This isn’t to say I have risen above all of the pressure. I still feel the need to bring in more money for my family, but I do not feel less than a man for what I am unable to do. So I listen and I pay attention (at least I try to) to the needs of my family. I try to pay special attention to the needs that can’t be fulfilled with a swipe of a card. After all, there is no substitution for emotional availability or mental presence. I’ve seen firsthand what financial provisions devoid of other provisions can do to a child and family. Our partners and our children need us to fill them in all areas, not just their pockets.
They may not even need you to fill them, but rather be honest with them about what you can do and be honest with yourself about your willingness to improve where necessary.
Dads, men, kings… Realize you are worth more than what your bank account can provide. Despite what you’ve been taught or jokes you’ve heard, you are more than an ATM and I can almost guarantee your partner sees your true value, even if you don't.