Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stay-at-Home Sinner

An old friend of mine from high school and college sent me a video last week from Pastor Mark Driscoll. To sum it up, if you don't have the time to watch it, Driscoll and his wife answer a question about what they think of a woman who works and a husband who stays home with the kids. The condemn a dad who's not working because of 1 Timothy 5:8 which says, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

Of course, if you look at the rest of the passage, Paul is talking about taking care of widows. And, of course, women couldn't even get much work back then. Plus, what does it mean to provide fo your family? Is it just about making money? Because a lot of people in ancient culture didn't earn actual money. But all that is beside the point. Yes, I'm a sinner. But I don't think that taking care of my kids and my household is the worst of my transgressions.

This isn't the first time I've been told I'm not doing the right thing by not being the "breadwinner" for my family. And it probably won't be the last. But for the most part, people are very supportive of my career right now.

Let's face it--there are plenty of dads out there who aren't involved with their families at all. And just as many who aren't involved in household chores. And while I believe it's important for a parent to stay at home and raise their children, that was a lifestyle choice we made for ourselves. We don't judge others who are working. Staying at home isn't for everyone. It's a tough job and it takes the right personality to balance it all.

Driscoll also talks a lot about how the man needs to work and the wife needs to stay home with the kids in order for there to be respect, happiness and a successful marriage. We've done it both ways where I've worked and where I've stayed home. And frankly, our marriage is the best it's ever been. We're both happier than we've ever been (of course, some of the therapy and counseling we finally got around to having may have a part in that).

Needless to say, we all make our own decisions and we all try and do what we think is best. There will always be the nay-sayers. But our job is to always act on our conscience. And to be the best dad and husband we can be.

Keep up the good work!


  1. There's no doubt you are GREAT at what you do! I am behind you 100% as a stay-at-home dad!

  2. I just want you guys to know that I really admire the fact that you are doing what is best for your family. It is something to be commended and not condemned that you care enough about your family to want them to be healthy and cared for.

    To me, Driscoll has major issues anyway, but it bothers me that providing is only seen as money and that he is belittling his wife and the work she does in their home, in my opinion.

    Love ya.

  3. I know I'm a little late to comment here, but I find it very ironic that he makes the statement that it is a Biblical mandate and not a "cultural" issue. And since it involves the woman staying home with the kids, what about 1 Corinthians 14:34 which says "women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says" (NIV). His wife just addressed the church. What makes that "cultural" while a SAHD becomes an issue requiring church disciplinary action? My wife and I have the same viewpoint as you mention, Dave, which is there is more than one way to support your family in our world. Thanks for the post!

  4. kwgainey--you're never too late to comment :)

    We also laud the Proverbs 31 woman, but that passage, too, talks about the woman going to the marketplace to sell the things she has made.

    The way life was lived commonly in biblical times was that both the husband and wife worked at home and the kids were around both of them all day long. It wasn't a "mom" thing--it was a parent thing.