Note from Shirley – Please check by for a new post Monday, March 21.
AARP Bulletin magazine had the following letter to the editor on March 2011:
Letter to the editor: Discussing older adults moving in with their children, she (Jane Bryant Quinn) wrote, “This includes widows whose husbands didn’t leave behind enough money for them to live on.” I thought the women’s movement taught us to take responsibility for our own futures and not to blame the poor dead husband.
In this month’s AARP, Jane Bryant Quinn, personal finance expert, writes about When Two Become One. She says in her article “For all their planning, this capable couple hadn’t asked a simple question: How will Jean live if Charles dies soon after they retire?”
Now, what on earth does this have to do with equality for Christian women?
Let’s return to the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood. Look at Affirmations #6. “In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husband’s leadership.”
This clearly says that the husband should care for his wife (plan for their retirement, not make risky investments). She should quit resisting and let him do it – because he is the man of the house.
But what happens when he doesn’t know beans about taking care of the money? We saw that in Egalitarian relationship – with male veto privilege. This man wasn’t even cashing his paychecks, much less taking care of his wife’s future financial needs.
I met a pastor like that one time when I worked for Baptist General Convention of Texas. We sent him a monthly check to help with church expenses, even though we knew that the money was going into the pastor’s pocket as his salary. The requirement for getting a check was that they send in a monthly report. One pastor would not send in the report on time. After hounding him and several months of no reports, he called me wanting his check. I told him to mail his report. He said that he had come the office with his report, but we were closed! Suddenly it was my fault that he didn’t get his check. He wasn’t preparing for his family’s daily needs, and he certainly wasn’t preparing for the future benefit for his wife.
The first writer blamed it on women’s lib and says that we can’t blame the poor dead husband if the wife doesn’t have enough money to live on. The Danvers Statement says that the husband is to prepare for the financial care of his wife which would include after he is dead and gone.
So who is right? This is where true equality comes in. The one who is best at financial matters should make the investments and prepare for their future. This should be done in full knowledge with the other partner. That person should not have to ask permission before making a decision. But the other spouse should be fully aware of all of the financial situation, and particularly should know what plans are being made for the future of each other.
The Danvers Statement assumes that men are better at taking care of the financial decisions, just because he is the man. We know that is not so. Apparently God didn’t give all men the ability to be wise financial stewards.