Saturday, October 1, 2011
Women Should Stay Home
In our men's group we were talking about marriage and the roles associated with marriage. The conversation began with an assumption that was NOT widely accepted until the feminist movement decided they wanted to be just like a man. Ya the know the whole: "I am women, hear me roar . . ." crap that has systematically dismantled the foundation of the family and church. Take 45 minutes and watch what Mary Kassian says to women from a biblical perspective at the first True Woman conference in 2008, I dare you. But I bet you’re thinking you are too busy to watch it and will not, how sad.
The assumption was: a wife working outside the home to earn income is a biblically accepted practice. It was simply an understood, a given, something that was not even looked at as a problem. I whole heatedly object the notion that a wife working outside the home is just a normal part of our Christian lives, one that we should accept it without a second thought or deep study. The bible addresses the issue.
The problem is twofold. First there is the issue of the departure by “Christians” from the unique and distinct roles of men and women as defined by scripture. Second there is the issue of the acceptance of cultural norms and practices in the church; we have let the world in to our churches.
How different do we look when our divorce rate in the church mirrors that of the world, or our lifestyle looks no different than our non-Christian neighbor's, or our wives working outside the home, or when as many as 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sex, according to an analysis of a study on sexual activity in the upcoming October issue of Relevant, a Christian magazine. We are called to be holy, live holy and act holy, but we only do that when a "brother or sister" is watching.
I realize that we do not live in a perfect world, but as Christians we SHOULD LOOK DIFFERENT, because we OUGHT to be endeavoring to “live perfectly in an imperfect world.” Following Jesus has a cost, but we seldom pay it because most Christians go around Matthew 7:1 and John 3:16 in stead of Luke 9:24 and Luke 14:26-35, our Saviour was tortured, reviled, bullied, mocked and murdered for His beliefs; yet we expect better.
Think about this before I continue: The only thing that doesn't cost you is the salvation Christ bought for you, it was free, being saved didn't cost you anything; following costs you everything.
What have I paid?
What have you paid?
I would even venture to say that a low view of marriage, womanhood, mothering and submission is in part to blame for our many role related issues. I have been told that my view of the roles of women are old fashioned, arcane and misogynistic. To which I mentally respond, “yeah, my views are old fashioned, yeah they are arcane, because they come from the Word of God, which is OLD.” Let me be clear, the view of women having less value is not biblical, I do believe that all human beings are equal in value. As Christians we must assimilate what the Word says about, life, money, sex, marriage, family and of course the roles of men and women into our lives. I am resisting the temptation to launch out on a rant about “ala-cart christians” that pick and choose what part of the Word they will live by. I have heard Christian men defend the practice of pre-marital sex, they say, “where is the verse, find me a verse and I’ll believe you.” That is a most revealing statement, because it clearly shows that they have little commitment to the study of Word of God. True there is not verse that says “thou shalt not have sex before marriage”, but it is easily, and correctly inferred when you look at the WHOLE BIBLE, and not just what your pastor preached on. I think part of the problem, in many cases, is a concentration on how much God loves us, and how much you matter, and how great life is with Jesus and how He died just for you because you are special . . . . I have to stop there because I’m about to sin. But I can't help but think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's classic work: The Cost of Discipleship in which he builds on the following statement to eventually draw the distinction between costly grace and cheap grace: When Christ calls a man He bids him come and die.
I want to be clear that I am not making a general, broad brush statement that forbids a women from working. Nor am I being legalistic, dogmatic or assigning a "top tier" to this issue.
What I am saying is that the best way to be married and have a family is God’s way and I believe God’s way is revealed to us in scripture. To put it simply: the man should provide, protect and lead the family, not the women. To put it in modern theological terms this article on Egalitarian and Complementarian Positions is helpful, it is sort of long, but read it, don't be lazy read it! Scripture says that men should love their wives the way Christ loved the church: sacrificially, Ephesians 5:25, and when a man looks at his wife and says: “Honey you have to help me pay the bills because I don’t make enough at my job.” that is not loving sacrificially.
Possibly loving your wife sacrificially is saying, “Honey we are struggling with just my current income, and I am going to take another job for a time to try to get us back on track, and if that doesn’t work, then I am going to have to downsize us, we may have to sell the car, and have just one, cancel cable, cancel cell phones, stop eating out, move in to an apartment, get rid of Netflix, buy clothes at Wal Mart, sell the guns, sell the quad/motorcycle/corvette, cancel life insurance. . . I hope it doesn’t come to that but my earnest desire is to enable you to fulfill your God-given role as my wife and mother to our children, and minister to younger women, pray that my sacrificial love is honored and blessed.” OH, the outcry when men fail to live up to their duty and give their wives a double burden of managing the house ( Proverbs 31:10-12 , Titus 2:5, 1Timothy 5:14 ) and providing the money.
"honey, we can’t make it on just my salary, please get a job to help.” How is that sacrificial love, how is that modeling the way Christ loves His church? After all marriage is a picture of Christ and His church, how did He love Her, will He ever divorce Her? Why should the women get double work? The man, and women, should do everything possible to live perfectly in an imperfect world, THAT is the struggle of being a Christian. It is not easy in the emasculated, egalitarian society we live in, to live according to the biblical model, but that’s just the point, He bids us come and die!
How do we as Christians, look any different from the world when the roles of men and women are not seen as unique and distinct? With all of "that" said, I cannot look at "Bobby and Susie" and tell them they are in sin because Susie works full time, that is between them and The Lord. But if they are not willing to look in to the Word to see what God says about their roles, then THAT IS SIN and there is my major problem with this whole topic. Many Christians are just too lazy, selfish and/or busy to "worry about those issues", after all they are not salvation issues, as if the only issues that matter are "admit, believe, confess." I'm not acting Holier than thou, or overly pious, I know this is hard, I know the struggles, but I know that God's way is the best way. Easy NO, but the best, YES.
My wife has far more influence over my children, she is the one training them in the Lord, she is the one showing them, day in and day out, the love of Jesus, she is the one that has the most influence over my children. But I am the one with authority, I am the one in charge, I am the CEO of the McGalla family, my wife is the manager, but I am the one that is accountable for my family, it is not a shared authority, 1 Timothy 3:4-6. We are not “in this together” as if we are "co-ceo’s" of the family, not that we do not labor together, but according to scripture I am the one who must manage my household well. She has influence, I have authority.
Maybe we have assimilated the culture into our churches in the name of “building bridges”. We use words like “real, relevant and contextualized” to woo the un-churched (bad theology) to our “modern” churches where we dare draw a distinction between the roles of men and women. We tell women to have at it, get a career, God has gifted you to lead that business don’t waste it at home, you’re a helper and that means paying the bills too, and while that women is gone leading a business, the husband is at home masturbating while looking at porn because he hasn’t had sex with his wife in three months because she has been gone on business submitting to another man, called her boss, or at the end of a busy day she is too tired to do much of anything. What does scripture say about this? It says have sex and only deny each other for a time so that you may pray and study God’s word, 1 Corinthians 7:5. Just look at Song of Solomon 4:7-16 and see the beautiful sexual imagery. The man that gets hooked on porn, no matter the reason, is in sin and should be held accountable and seek help to end the addiction. I am not saying that those who are addicted to porn are addicted because their wife works, nor am I saying it is NOT the man’s fault for falling. I have simply outlined a scenario to cause you to think. From a man's perspective I can tell you that lust is far easier to have victory over when your wife is at home with you, 1 Corinthians 7:3, not that that is th eonly reason she should be home, just one possible reason.
The issues tackled above are not new, but the answers are found in scripture. This short post has not done justice to the topic, but it has helped me calm down. I feel very strongly about all of this, but pray that I do not become disagreeable, mean, arrogant, cocky and rude towards others that may not hold my view. There is much to agree on and fight for within the church and my desire is that as men and women wrestle with their roles many would see the light of Christ. I am a complementarian and encourage you to look more deeply in to God's Word to be sure you are living in the best possible way, there are many resources on the web; start here.
Thanks for reading, well all three of you that come here. Maybe someday I will try harder to get bigger readership. If you would like to help by linking to this blog that would be great. I am going to change the name of the blog to "The Crowing Rooster" more on that later.