Recently I was reading an article about a couple who’s marriage was in trouble because of financial problems. A year ago the husband had lost his job, and with it, his confidence, his manhood, and he fell into a deep dark depression. After six months of this, the wife left him and went to go live with her mother and step-father with their young daughter.
The wife said that her parents didn’t understand why she wasn’t just divorcing him. What really bothered me was her parents couldn’t understand why she would even let him see their young daughter because he wasn’t making any money. In their estimation, because he doesn’t have a job than he isn’t worthy of being a father.
This got me thinking. What are father’s worth? Are they worth only their paychecks? Is their worth in direct proportion to the dollar signs? Are they not fit to be fathers unless they are fulfilling that “provider” role?
When I think of my husband and the wonderful father he is, what value am I placing on him? Is his only value what he brings into the bank account? The fact that he is able to make a living so that our family as a roof over our heads, food on our table, and clothes on our backs is a true blessing. But is that all he’s worth?
I don’t think so. No one is a better playmate than Daddy. He rolls around on the ground with the kids. Something I hardly ever and don’t like to do. He is usually the ringleader of fun at the kids’ birthday parties. He plays with them, he protects them, and yes, he provides for them. But so do I. That’s both our jobs as a parent. We would both be irresponsible if we didn’t finacially take care of the chilren we brought into this world.
In July 2003, Casey was laid off from his job. At the time we had a 2 year old and I was newly pregnant. We were poor. Even with his job we were poor. I was working part-time at a shoe store and going to college part-time. Knowing that our future was uncertain and that we desperately needed health insurance because of our young daughter and my pregnancy, I stepped up to the plate and asked my manager if she would consider me for a full-time Assistant Manager position. She said, of course.
Luckily for us Casey was able to find another job within a couple of days thanks to a co-worker of mine who knew that her husband was hiring. It only paid half of what he was making before, but we were thankful for it. We were also thankful that we knew our parents would help us out in any way possible if we needed it.
I found it interesting that in this couple’s situation, they decided to turn against each other during a difficult time. They stopped communicating all together. I remember this time in 2003 as very scary. But I never felt like my marriage was in trouble. Casey and I have always been on the same team. Whether we succeed or fail, we do it together. We have been through some tough financial times and we’ve always pulled through because we stuck together.
When my mother was sick and dying, Casey took care of me. When just the thought of doing anything more than getting out bed in the morning was too difficult to handle, he picked up the slack for me. He carried me on his back during those times. I wouldn’t have made it without him.
So to get back to my original question, what are father’s worth? Well I know that my husband as a father is worth a lot. He’s worth a lot more than just a paycheck. This family doesn’t work without him. I don’t work without him. I’m so glad that I have the assurance that if something bad were to happen to me or to us, we will always have each other to rely on. And that’s better than any paycheck any day.