First, gainful employment demonstrates responsibility. Asking the question, "Do you have a job?" is a way of asking "Are you responsible?" When a man does not have a vocation, there is no consistent measure of responsibility. If he is not responsible for himself, how will he be responsible for others? A man's ability to take care of himself is a vital part of who he is. He will never take any relationship seriously until he takes himself seriously. Man's relationship is tied to his sense of responsibility; therefore it is tied to his effort. Both labor and responsibility are measurable.
Next, gainful employment contributes to inner growth. Jesus referred to work as his spiritual food. "Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work" (John 4:34 KJV). The ability to show up for work faithfully and consistently develops one's inner character and builds confidence. It feeds a man's spirit with feeds his esteem. The moral fiber of a man is demonstrated in the way he goes about his job. This same type of faithfulness is necessary to build a strong family.
Finally, gainful employment allows us to see value in others. Men who work are more likely to value others than those who do not. A man will need help when he is busy doing something productive. No man is content with succeeding alone. At the end of a hard day's work, he longs for someone to share in the fruit of his labor, and he appreciates those that help him revive and refresh from a hard days work.
Gainful employment demonstrates responsibility, and it is a very important part of a man's emotional and spiritual health. When he can provide for himself, he feels better about himself. Gainful employment feeds a man's esteem, and it is as natural to him as eating. As a matter of fact, work is a prerequisite to eating. "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10). A man's labor is more than just a way of providing food for the table. It is a measurement that determines if he is truly ready for a healthy relationship.
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For copies of his book, questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.