Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first,”
Pushing in front of the ice cream line.
Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first,”
Grabbing the ketchup at dinnertime.
Climbing on the morning bus
She’d shove right by all of us
And there’d be a tiff or a fight or a fuss
When Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first.”

Pamela Purse screamed, “Ladies first,”
When we went off on our jungle trip.
Pamela Purse said her thirst was worse
And guzzled our water, every sip.
And when we got grabbed by that wild savage band,
Who tied us together and made us all stand
In a long line in front of the King of the land-
A cannibal known as Fry-‘Em-Up Dan,
Who sat on his throne in a bib so grand
With a lick of his lips and a fork in his hand,
As he tried to decide who’d be first in the pan-
From back of the line, in that shrill voice of hers,
Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first.”

– “Ladies First” by Shel Silverstein

When Miss Purse found herself in the clutches of Fry-‘Em-Up Dan, one can’t help but wonder: did she find being “first” to be such a privileged position after all? Or did she wish someone else (a gentleman perhaps) would step in and take her place before she got gobbled up? I suppose one will never know!

Like many women of folly, Pamela Purse had a notion that “ladies first” was an intrinsic right of females that would bring her happiness. However, her self-exalting mindset did not bring about happiness in the end, but rather sorrow…even death. I propose that this very same mindset of “ladies first” will ultimately bring sorrow and (spiritual) death to all who believe in and practice it.

Now when I say “ladies first”, I do not refer to such chivalrous acts as a man opening a door for a woman, or offering her his chair, or encouraging her to go ahead of him in the grocery line. Rather, I am referring to the feminist concept of “ladies first”: that women should be the apex gender…that women can be everything, do everything, and have everything…that they “don’t need a man!” This worldview is diametrically opposed to God’s system. In fact, Scripture asserts just the opposite, that women do need men (and they need us)…

…in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. – 1 Corinthians 11:11b

“Independent” is just what feminists wish to be, but it is to their own detriment. Whenever one steps outside of God’s perfect system, it results in chaos…chaos in the home, chaos in the church, chaos in the nation. Thanks to decades of rampant feminism, our nation has become a moral wreck. For years, many could not determine and live according to their own gender roles, leading to today, when many cannot even determine and live according to their own gender, period.

I am here today to denounce the concept of “ladies first”. Women were not created to be the apex gender – we were created to be helpmeets for our husbands. Women can not be everything, do everything, and have everything – we shine in areas of femininity. Women aren’t to be independent of men – we are one half of the marital equation, completing the glorious picture of Christ and His church.

A favorite saying among feminists is, “never send a man to do a woman’s job”. It’s a smug, self-important way to mock men for not thriving in the role of a woman. Women may use this rude phrase if their husbands do not perform with 100% accuracy such tasks as changing a diaper, folding the laundry, or loading the dishwasher. (Interestingly enough, I have never once heard a man mock his wife for not knowing how to perform an oil change, fix a leaky pipe, or file a tax return, but I digress…) It is in parody of this phrase that I bring today’s lesson before you: “never send a woman to do a man’s job“…because humanity thrives when we women do our jobs, and men do theirs.

Allow me to share with you three unique jobs of men that women are (blessedly) exempt from. #1…

…he may not reduce her food... – cf Exodus 21:10

In Exodus, it was commanded that a man supply the three basic needs of his wife. The first need? Food. It is a man’s job to provide for his family by “bringing home the bacon”. This is not only an Old Testament law, but the principle is reiterated in 1 Timothy 5:8:

..if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

While there may at times be a need for a woman to provide supplemental support for the family (if her husband requires and permits such), an able-bodied man is the one who ought to be carrying the lion’s share of his family’s financial burden. When a man is “providing for his own” there is no question as to who is putting the food on the table. Men are uniquely designed by God to be providers for their families.

Some practical ways a wife can support her husband in his job of provision include:

Spending prudently. Bargain hunting. Reselling unwanted/unneeded items. Preparing inexpensive meals. Buying clothing secondhand. And above all, being content with the life he has to offer her on his budget.

Provision is distinctly masculine. Never send a woman to do a man’s job!

Duty is the essence of manhood.

– George S. Patton


…he may not reduce her clothing… – cf Exodus 21:10

According to Exodus, the second basic need a man must supply for his wife is clothing. Both literally and metaphorically, whenever clothes are mentioned in Scripture, it represents a “covering”. It is a man’s job to protect his family in soma, soul, and spirit. This protective nature of males is likewise repeated in Luke 11:21:

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are secure.

(Those “possessions” include his most valuable assets – the wife and kids!)

It’s no secret that the physical strength of the average female pales in comparison to the physical strength of the average male. While a mother should do all in her power to defend her children should a perpetrator come along, the chances of her fighting off an offender (unless of course she holds in her hands “the great equalizer”, A.K.A. a gun) are slim to nothing. Men are uniquely designed by God to be protectors for their families.

Some practical ways a wife can support her husband in his job of protection include:

Upholding boundaries. Steering clear of those individuals that her husband deems questionable. Respecting her own feminine intuition. Being ultra-aware in dark or unfamiliar places. Choosing friends wisely. And above all, keeping close to her tough man – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Protection is distinctly masculine. Never send a woman to do a man’s job!

It was men who stopped slavery. It was men who ran up the stairs in the Twin Towers to rescue people. It was men who gave up their seats on the lifeboats of the Titanic. Men are made to take risks and live passionately on behalf of others.

– John Eldredge


…he may not reduce her conjugal rights… – cf Exodus 21:10

The third need a man must supply to his wife, pursuant to Exodus 21:10, is sex. Many of you may be thinking, “what…sex?! Ew. That’s one duty my husband can shirk. I don’t need that!”…but God says you do. It is a man’s job to promote his family by making love to his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:4 confirms this idea:

The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise the husband also does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

Having sex with one’s spouse promotes two of God’s greatest gifts: love and children. When a husband and wife make love, they make love. An active sex life is uniting…it bonds a couple in ways they bond with no other. When a husband has sex with his wife (if she engages as a lover and not a martyr), it will promote jubilant feelings within her..she is confident, she is unique, and she is cherished. Furthermore, sex brings about babies. A husband physically promotes the human race by implanting his seed in his wife. He emotionally promotes the children she bears for him by being a present, loving father. He spiritually promotes them by bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Men are uniquely designed by God to be promoters for their families.

Some practical ways a wife can support her husband in his job of promotion include:

Staying open and available sexually. Being interested and engaged in the bedroom. Bearing children for her husband. Exemplifying honor towards the father of her children. Preserving Dad’s command in and out of his presence. And above all, remembering that she is her husband’s lover and her children’s mother, not the other way around.

Promotion is distinctly masculine. Never send a woman to do a man’s job!

A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.

– Billy Graham

In conclusion…


These three masculine responsibilities belong to husbands. What serenity it is to be a woman and have the distinct privilege to take a supportive role in the home, while our husbands take the lead. Don’t be a Pamela Purse, shrieking “ladies first” all the way to your grave. Don’t you know that God knows best? Husbands are called to provide, protect, and promote – and you never send a woman to do a man’s job!

Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men.

– Elisabeth Elliott

For God’s glory,
Mrs. Dustin Bolks

Chaste Bolks is a church of Christ preacher’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.