4 Ways Men Without A Job Don’t Do Well

It’s not hard to make a biblical case for why work is important and honorable. That case begins with the fact that God is the very first worker who creates the world in 6 days and rests on the 7th. God made Adam and Even in his image and gave them a job, to work and care for the garden of Eden. In the New Testament we see John the Baptist calling people to moral excellence in their jobs (Luke 3) and all of us are told that in our job we are working ultimately for the Lord, not man (Ephesians 6 and Colossians 3).

The Bible makes clear that our vocation, job, career is an important part of our life. It’s a gift from God. God uses our work for our good.

Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise when we find that life doesn’t go well when lived outside God’s will and plan. As soon as sin enters the world our work is adversely affected. Our jobs are just as corrupted by sin as everything else is. God gave us work to be done for his glory but we made it about a paycheck and our glory. God gave us work to enjoy but with sin work became difficult and burdensome.

I thought about all this recently when I came across a series of articles and studies tweeted out by W. Bradford Wilcox, professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and Director of the National Marriage Project. He pointed to 4 negative effects of men not having jobs.

Male joblessness is strongly linked to child maltreatment.

Men out of work more likely to divorce.

Men out of work more likely to spend time watching television than women not working (via @upshotnyt).

Men out of work more likely to spend a lot of time gaming.

We could go a lot of profitable directions with this information and ask important questions. For now let’s just recognize that when we help a man get a job we aren’t just helping him. We are helping his family (or future family) and we are helping society at large.

One more thing: Teaching your son (or daughter) how to apply for a job and how to work a job before they finish high school seems incredibly important to me.

4 Comments

  1. Robb Bong said:

    As one who has been suddenly “retired” by a firm I had worked for nearly 35 years, I can attest that work for a man is extremely important to one’s sense of worth and well being. Thankfully, after nearly 15 months of being in and out of contract positions, temporary employment, etc., God has been ever faithful. I am now employed full time and both Kim and I thank the Lord for His provision in our lives. I can say that my attitude is strengthened by the experience over the last 15 months and that my work is to His glory. It is amazing how God works in our lives on a continual basis according to His will and purpose!

  2. Chuck D said:

    Replies to your four negative effects.

    I’m a single parent and been jobless since Dec 2015. Me being jobless has freed me up to make fatherhood my vocation.

    1. I don’t have time to mistreat my children. Just this week I have taken them to hip hop dance class, cheer-leading practice (4x), Wed night Think Tank, Thursday night STL Cardinal’s game (we got creamed), tonight was Septemberfest at Harrisburg, and tomorrow we are making a 4 1/2 hour trek to Poplar Bluff to get our new puppy because our family dog died last week.

    2. I filed for both of my divorces while employed.

    3. Ok, I will concede the TV watching.

    4. I don’t do any gaming but watching Cardinals game on the computer and looking for prospective dates does contribute to time suckage.

    I would like to think my kids learn from me when I help my son with his jump shot, or go through the awkwardness of ordering my daughter’s correct size cheer gear and not just for the 40 hours I would spend sitting in a cubicle each week.

  3. Chuck D said:

    Replies to the 4 negative effects.

    I am a single parent who has been jobless since Dec 2015. Becoming jobless has freed me up to the vocation of fatherhood.

    1. I don’t have time to mistreat my children. This week I have taken them to hip hop dance class, cheer-leading practice (4x), Wednesday night Think Tank, Thursday night Cardinal’s game (we got creamed), tonight was Septemberfest in Harrrisburg, and tomorrow we are taking a 4 1/2 hour trek to Poplar Bluff to get a new puppy since our family dog died last week.

    2. I filed for both my divorces while employed.

    3. I concede the TV watching.

    4. I don’t game but watching the Cardinal’s on the computer and seeking out prospective dates does increase time suckage.

    I would like to think that my children could learn from me helping my son with his jump shot or going through the awkwardness of getting my daughter’s sizes for her cheer gear order is as important as me sitting in a cubicle for 40 hours a week.

  4. Mick said:

    Very big danger here of conveying that men only have worth or value if they have a job, and God says so. We are already getting that message from society and from cruel, selfish individuals and don’t need to hear it from the church too. Men are valuable where we are and sometimes it’s God’s will at a point in our lives to “MAKE us like down in green pastures” (Ps. 23) to recharge for the next phase of life. After 30+ years on the hamster wheel and nothing to show from it but ingratitude from all, burnout, and a divorce, it took a lot of time and prayer to unprogram all that and resolve that I have worth even though I can’t earn a paycheck (despite two brutal years of trying in this economy).

    Also would warn against any sanctimony from esteemed, employed clergy, since you are literally one bad stroke away from being among us ungodly, unmanly castoffs. I imagine that you and Dr. Wilcox would see this issue with more humility if you had to live it a while. I get the points that are being made–and I instilled those into my sons, all of whom are working–I just wish this article had a bit more nuance and Christ-like compassion for different sides of this emotional issue.

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