Shaun Groves wrote a post the other day that’s been rolling and spinning in my head as I’ve digested the information he shared. He gave a rather concise breakdown of how and, perhaps, why women give more generously than men and asked a simple question at the end of the post.
How do we change this?
Both Shaun’s post (which you should read) and the comments offered a lot of insight into reasons why men may be less inclined to give generously than women, particularly to charitable causes. From the actual emotional responses that women experience when viewing photos and story to the pressure men feel as the providers of their own homes, it is not necessarily surprising that men are less inclined to jump at child sponsorship after hearing a simple presentation.
Men are pragmatic and practical where women are emotional and intuitive. These two differing responses to emotion will, naturally, lead to different outcomes in giving. Men want to know the bottom line. Where is my money going and how is it going to be used practically? Women just need to see the big eyes and round cheeks of a child and we’re ready to sign the check.
But there was one piece of this puzzle that left me feeling a like perhaps there is a bridge to be built between the pragmatism of men and the emotionalism of women. And my female friends? I really think the bridge rests on our shoulders.
Shaun writes: “According to a Pew Research study from 2008, in 43% of heterosexual couples polled the woman was the primary decision maker in four areas: what to watch on television, weekend plans, buying things for the home, managing finances. (31% of couples “evenly divide” decisions.)
…So it’s possible that a man being asked to commit $38/month to sponsor a child is unsure he has the authority to make such a commitment alone. “I need to talk to my wife first.'”
The first time I read this I had to stop and pause for a moment. And the more I thought, I wondered if perhaps this could be the very key to unlocking our men’s freedom to give more generously.
What if we let them do it? What if we as wives gave our husbands full reign and leadership over these important and necessary decisions of how, when and where to give of our time and resources?
I can hear the arguments and I see some of you cringing. “She’s gonna use the ‘S’ word, isn’t she?”
Submission is hard. It’s really, really hard. But, here’s the kicker, it actually produces a lot more freedom than most of us are willing to admit.
Now before you throw the typical arguments my way, let me say this – when I speak of submission, I am in no way condoning abusive or dangerous situations. If you or your children are being abused, then my advice is to get away and do it quickly. So know that the submission I am speaking of is one that applies to a healthy relationship between husband and wife that is built on mutual respect, love and communication.
Submission is often portrayed as weakness, as bowing down and being trampled on by the big, bad men. But I don’t believe that is what submission was meant to be at all.
Submission is actually powerful. It gives us the opportunity to build our men up, support them and give them the confidence to make the right decisions. I wondered when reading the above statement if, perhaps, we as wives could do a better job of building our husbands up in the area of leadership, finances and decision making within the household. What would the outcome be if we communicated to them our belief in their ability to make wise decisions? What would happen if men felt they did have the authority to make important decisions for their families?
How might it affect a man’s desire to give generously if he believed his wife saw him as a generous giver?
Remember, ladies, how exciting it was for your man to pursue you when you first began dating? The outcome of the dating situation rested on his ability to properly woo you. Men thrive on that challenge. If we remove the challenge of leadership after saying “I Do,” we have full potential to leave men paralyzed in the areas of decision making.
Simply handing over the reigns of leadership in finances and decision making alone will, of course, not turn men into automatic generous givers. It doesn’t even mean that all men will automatically make wise decisions regarding finances. But perhaps it would build a bit of a bridge between desire and action when they are presented an opportunity to give.
At any rate, it will remove one more excuse for not giving.
So what are your thoughts? Ladies, do you see the potential impact you could have on your husband by giving him the reigns of decision making? And men, what do you think? What do you need from us as women to help support you in becoming men who give generously and lead confidently?
This is another article that was presented in the comments of Shaun’s post. I thought it was a great read for me as a wife and a woman who desires to see her husband reach his full potential as the head of our home.