Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mr. Mom?

I've been wondering, and I confess, I don't have answers. But perhaps the three people who read this blog might be willing to throw some comments my way. Some of you might remember the move Mr. Mom starring Michael Keaton. It's a comedy about a man who decides to stay home and raise the kids while his wife brings home the bacon (figuratively speaking, of course). A friend and I were talking about the roles of men and women in society and were discussing scenarios where both husband and wife (with children) worked outside the home where the woman earned more income than the man.

As a complimentarian theologically (meaning I believe Scripture specifies that male and female are meant to have complimentary roles, and that while men and women have equal value in the eyes of God, they have been designed for specific roles in the world) and not an egalitarian (meaning male and female are equal in every way, including leadership and ministry roles; more could be said about both of these but time doesn't permit), I have to wonder whether it would be a violation of biblical principles for a woman who is married with children (particularly young childrne) to work outside the home and support the family simply because she earns a higher income than her husband. Yes, there are situations that may require both husband and wife to work outside the home, but what about the situation where the family desires to have one parent at home with the children, but decides that this person should be the husband purely for financial reasons?

Surprisingly, I had never really even thought about this until a conversation over a game of Settlers of Cataan the other day. In Titus 2:3-5, we learn that older women are encouraged to mentor younger women. "They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled". Paul, in his instructions about unmarried and widows regarding the benefits of serving Jesus, tells us that "the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband" (2Cor 8:34). The implication is that married women have a specific role in the home, a role shaped and ordained for women alone. The implication is that the role of the wife is to support, love and compliment her husband and raise and love her children above all other agendas.

Those whose worldview has been shaped largely by the feminist agenda will likely repine at the suggestion that a married woman who earns more income than her husband should be the one to stay at home with the children, but it seems to me that Scripture is pointing in this direction. This isn't an argument about whether women should work at all outside the home. There are many cases where this is appropriate. However, when a married couple has young children, where possible, women should seriously consider the benefits of staying at home with their young children during their formative years.

Yes, I said women should consider their role in this. I didn't say a man can't do it. He can, my belief is that this is not what God has called the man to do. Questions like these quickly point us to the bottomline of what Scripture intends to teach us about the roles of men and women. What do you think?

5 Comments:

At 12:40 AM , Blogger r a i n e r said...

I think you're spot on...Scripture seems to be pretty clear. In fact, I'm not even convinced that I am not in sin because my wife is the primary bread winner. Granted we are not allowed to work at Lakeview, but I also knew that coming into this situation. Maybe I should have more faith & attempt to raise $30K a year. Perhaps I shouldn't have come to Auburn and should be working 3 or so jobs like you did to get us slowly through seminary.

I like what Mindy said about this just the other week. You can find it here: http://leavethemany.blogspot.com/
2006/07/weekday-blues.html

So, since Emily would be in the home, this gives her the green-light to bring in the doe starting that dessert baking company...you can sign me up for a whole cake, pie, or a dozen of whatever she whips up!

 
At 8:43 AM , Blogger Aaron said...

I have to wonder what the leadership at your church would say if this issue was brought up in regards to the demands of the internship. Perhaps their answer would be that you should have raised support. Is this what the majority of students in the program have done?

I think you are right. Mindy should be at home, pregnant on the couch eating Captain Crunch, not out slaving making $100,000.00 a year to feed your face! Ha.

I do think there circumstances where it is necessary for the wife to work outside the home instead of the husband. Disability comes to mind. I also see Mindy serving and loving you as a helpmate in your current circumstances. Where it would become very tricky would be if she became pregnant.

 
At 7:17 PM , Blogger barry said...

This conversation is just frustrating. I had the grand plan of marrying lauren and sending her out to make the money to keep me in the comfortable lifestyle i've lived in recent years since my dad has retired from the air force and started makin some real dough.

Seriously, though, I think the view you've presented is in line with what God tells us in His Word. However, I do not lie...it has not been something I have considered much or studied much. Maybe I should take a step back from TULIP long enough to look at other issues the church faces.

 
At 9:39 AM , Blogger Aaron said...

The issue is even more complicated because it raises the question about whether or not a woman could/should serve as the President of the United States.

 
At 11:20 AM , Blogger Jake and Winnie said...

hmmm...aaron you are always giving us something to think about aren't you? Just when I thought I had it al figured out. jk Thanks for challenging me to look deeper into this topic....I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for the conversation during the game. W

 

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