“It’s hard to respect a man who is not willing to provide”

Oh my goodness, where do we begin with this? This type of world view is so far out of whack with my own that it is hard to take it serious enough to comment on this point of view. But I’ll give it a shot.

Apparently the preacher in the video, Mark Driscoll, is some kind of rock star amongst the evangelical right. But if you ask me (and others), Driscoll sounds like your typical everyday right wing evangelist who, like all the rest, continually use the word of God to justify and advocate their patriarchal ideals that women do not belong in the workplace and that men are incapable of being caregivers.

A man who does not provide for his family is worse than a non believer?

At home Dads are a case for church discipline?

Having a stay at home Dad in your house is a surefire recipe for divorce?

It’s all crap.

Don’t tell a stay at home Dad that they are living a Peter Pan lifestyle. Stay at home with your kids for a few weeks, Mr. Driscoll. Change the diapers, feed them, care for them when they are sick, shuttle them around to practices, comfort them when they have been hurt. Then come back and tell stay at home Dad’s they are not taking responsibility or providing for my family. Tell them they live a Peter Pan lifestyle.

And since when did “providing for your family” become synonymous with bringing home a pay cheque? Is money the only way a man can “provide” for his family? Sorry, that just does not fly with me. I provide for my family in dozens of ways that are much more valuable than simply bringing home the all mighty buck.

I am also getting tired of hearing the comment that somehow parents who have their kids in daycare are abdicating the responsibility for raising their kids and leaving their kids in the company of “strangers”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When the kids started attending daycare both my wife and I made it a priority to get to know the daycare workers, and judging from the level of interaction we have with other parents at the daycare, many other parents make the effort as well. I know which of the Early Childhood Educators have kids, which ones have partners and which ones are single. I know what their hobbies are, what kinds of food/movies/music they like, the sports they play. Everyday we see them, we talk with them. They learn about us, we learn about them. I see them around town. These are not strangers raising our kids. These are people who live in my community. These are my neighbors, not strangers. To call them strangers is an insult.

Via At Home Dad.

7 responses to ““It’s hard to respect a man who is not willing to provide”

  1. You’re right. Where to begin?

    I provide for the needs of family from 7 in the morning until well after midnight, each and every day. Without a break. Do I get a paycheck? Nope. Is my family better off for my efforts? Of course.

    I could care less what opinionated asses like Mark Driscoll think but, unfortunately, it’s misguided words like his that sometimes do have an effect on people I come into contact with on a daily basis.

    I mean, no wonder some of these Christian homeschoolers refuse to befriend me. “He’s the evil stay-at-home dad who is raising little minions of Satan because his wife makes a ton more money than he did.”

    It’s crap like this that turned me away from organized religion years ago.

  2. You are bang on, Phil. While I try not to let these views affect me directly, I know that there are people around in my world who are affected by “leaders” like Mark Driscoll.

  3. I think that it is funny that Mark Driscoll is saying that the verse is not tied to any culture, but is "biblical" and somehow that means that it is acultural. I have wondered what he thinks about his wife sitting there speaking with him, because the Bible also says that a woman is not permitted to speak in public religious audiences. Clearly, he is not doing his homework, but picking his battles when convenient (or controversial).

    I have looked at this passage as a Christian, and realized that all it talks about is a man not providing for his family. The Bible states that woman is man's "helper". So if she "helps" by bringing in the majority of the income, is that so bad? I agree that as men, we are doing a disservice to our families if we neglect to see to it that our families are provided for, and if we are lazy people who force our wives to work because we don't want to work, that's different (not to mention the fact that raising children is more work than going to a workplace). However, when a family is in agreement that a husband will stay home while the wife works, I say that is the sign of a healthy and confident marriage.

  4. Stay-At-Home-Dad – really excellent point re) bible and culture. The bible is far from being “acultural”, as you nicely put it. So much of our Western culture is derived from the bible – Christmas and Easter to name just 2 events that are both biblical and cultural events. The 2 are intimately intertwined.

  5. Classic bad Biblical exposition. A verse is taken out of context and misapplied. The mischief at which it was aimed is the father who neglects his family, even if he claims it's so he can do God's work.
    If you are looking after your family's needs (including by sharing the load with your wife), it does not apply to you. And if you are earning a truckload of money and never seeing your children, it does apply to you.

  6. There was a a 3 year period where I had what I would call the privilege to stay at home with my two children when they were growing up. I had lost my job to down sizing and my wife had a pretty good job. It only made sense for me to stay at home with the children to save on day care expenses. I didn't think much of it until I spent some time with other fathers in the community. I found that many of them didn't really know much about their kids; don't get me wrong, they were loving and caring fathers but since they weren't around their kids all that much, they really didn't know much about their daily lives.

    I on the other hand knew every aspect of my kids lives because I was with them practically all the time. I ended up finding a good job and went back to work, but I wouldn't trade the time I had with them for anything!


  7. The difference is between a believer and a non-believer. Either you believe the Bible IS the Word of God or you don't. To say that it is out of context or that culturally it doesn't fit, make sense or that you just don't like it makes you a what?

    It's healthy to debate but don't let your experiences be them good or bad stray you from the word.

    1 Timothy 5:8 (From the Apostle Paul) – 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. (NIV).