What About Stay at Home Dads During This Crisis?

Another good question today. Now this one, I know the relevancy of it is, is different in this moment than I think in normal, but I still think it’s a helpful question regardless that’ll be evergreen. And the question is, what about stay at home dads? Is that okay? Is that appropriate? Brandon asked this. So this is a question that we’re trying to answer from our community. Could I still fulfill my God given role as a father, staying at home to nurture and raise our kids while my wife takes up the role of the breadwinner? Would I be giving up my responsibilities as the leader in my household? I have heard many different takes on this and I can’t figure out exactly what the Bible really says about it.

That’s a good question. Hard question. I know a lot of people wrestle with it all. I’ll say one thing and I’ll let Jeremy then talk about kind of the vision I think we see in scriptures, but I’ll talk about the more, what would this be sociological or historical perspective. And that’s the fact that before 100 years ago, there was just no such thing as breadwinner or this kind of this context of like, “I leave, I make the money.”

That didn’t exist. The world of the scriptures, the home was an economic and a familial kind of orbiting forest that was all wrapped up into one. Meaning like it was just its own entity. It was his own unit. There was no one that was a breadwinner. There was no one that was not a breadwinner. It was just a team that works and serves each other. Now there was, of course I do think there was structure, organization, deference, et cetera. But this is an only a 21st century question to a 21st century problem.

And so I just think it’s kind of useless and pointless at some layer, of just … here’s another way to put it. I think it becomes really problematic when you then try to go into the first century text and have it answer your 21st century problem. That’s what I’m trying to say. It’s like, no, we have no context or even ability to understand how different it was in the first century than today in the point of just that classic model of like, should I stay home or should I leave? No one ever left back then, but it was more of this team rather than … I can go on and on and on that, but I just think you have to start there of like, get yourself out of that framework first. Don’t answer the problem with the 21st century answer. You know what I mean? Try to answer it with the first century answer. And so that’s what I think is different, but what would you say, Jeremy?

Yeah, I think what Jeff is describing is in the first century, the household was actually an economic unit as a whole. And so as a team, the household would go out and the household would make money. And so the husband, wife would work together. The kids would have worked together, and this was true in just about every culture at every time until really recently. And now it’s becoming true all of a sudden, again, with this crisis. Families are asking, “How are we going to make a living? We have to work together.” And so I think that that’s one of the ways that the things have really changed. And so when he’s asked who should be the breadwinner, the one thing I would say biblically, and that is that you guys it’s really important that we’re being formed by the story of scripture.

And one of the most relevant elements of scripture or parts of the story for this is Genesis three. So after the fall, God told Adam, he said that, “By the sweat of your brow, you will make a living. You’ll scratch a living from the earth.” And I do think that it’s critical that if your wife makes more money than you, that you don’t then pull back and no longer participate in sort of income producing ventures. And a lot of the guys I’ve talked to that are stay at home dads, their wife is working, but they are engaged in income producing ventures. I think that’s really critical that you participate in what it means to really scratch a living from the earth, to toil. And so I would say that if you abdicate responsibility from the responsibility to provide for your family and you’re not building up skills, you’re not getting stronger in those areas.

If you’re completely separating and your wife is 100% making money, you’re 100% in the house, I think that from a story perspective, there’s discipleship for men that Genesis three is describing that I think it’s critical you don’t abdicate or not experience that.

And there’s a lot of deeper reasons for that. But I would say that that’s the line that I wouldn’t cross. If you’re more at home than your wife, if you’re watching the kids and training them and parenting them a little bit more than she is, I don’t think that’s necessarily the issue, but I would say what Jeff said, just coming full circle. The best scenario you guys is to work as a team and create economic opportunities that you can invest in together. And if you can find ways to do that, that’s the killer solution. And I think with the crisis and things that are happening, I would really seriously consider that. So in order for us to help you guys figure out what do you do as a family during this crisis? We’re going to put out a five day challenge. So Jeff, I want you to tell them a little bit what about what that’s about.

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