Mark Driscoll Thinks Stay At Home Dads Are Weak
Thanks to Nicole Wick for directing my attention to this video. Visit her blog at nicolewick.com
OK, I realize that this is an old clip and perhaps Mark has changed his mind on this subject, but today was the first time I viewed this clip and it drew and immediate response from me (and from my wife who also viewed the clip). For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you saw my first reaction (yeah for unfiltered tweeting!). Here’s the thing. As a general rule, I think Driscoll says a lot of stuff to get a “rise” out of people. Most of the time, it’s the traditionalists that are up in arms over his statements. In this video, however, Mark seems to have his feet firmly planted in a very foundational, fundamentalist reading of scripture and, despite his objections (“I’ve read the whole book”) I suspect that Mark has added quite a bit of his own personal philosophy about what a “real man” looks like.
James, a friend of mine who stays at home with is kids (but also goes to school and works a part time job) asked me for my thoughts on this subject and here is my reply.
Here’s my thought. Driscoll has spent several years telling us to be more “manly” and I guess that’s fine. But here, he equates “providing for the family’s needs” solely with working outside the home. What if what the family needs isn’t income from dad, but, instead, for dad to stay home because mom has a solid career?
He seems to give no credence to the idea that a particular woman may be more suited for the workplace than to be a domestic goddess. I think it’s great if a woman wants to be a stay at home mom. However, I don’t think the bible dictates that, nor do I think it rules out the idea of a stay at home dad.
In the times and culture in which the bible was written, I’m sure the idea of a stay at home dad wasn’t even a consideration. That doesn’t make it wrong any more than, say, driving a car, which also isn’t mentioned in the bible.
It fascinates me, given Mark’s loose interpretation of other portions of scripture, that he is so hard nosed on this issue. I wonder what his “church discipline” would be for me. I work two jobs to support my family, but I also “stay at home” (work from home) 3 days a week to care for my child. Does that mean I’m 3/5ths worse than an unbeliever?
I just think his statements are ridiculous and completely out of touch. I could understand them if we were talking about lazy or deadbeat dads (which is what he seems to think a stay at home dad is), but there are so many situations where that simply isn’t the case. To make the kind of statements he does in this clip based on generalities and stereotypes is either incredibly irresponsible or it’s simply malicious.
That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the issue. Some may disagree and that’s fine. I don’t have to agree with you on everything and welcome discussion on the matter. However, I went on to reassure James that he and other stay at home dads are more than welcome at our church.