Sunday, July 22, 2007

More SAHD thoughts from a happy dad...

The church I grew up in was very traditional in the way it viewed family relationships. Men were the breadwinners. Women stayed home and took care of the babies. It's a great way to run a family. It was the usual way families were put together in America until the 1960's or 1970's. The problem is that in the church where I grew up, and for a lot of Christians still, it's the biblical standard for families. It's the "right" way for families to live.

It drives me insane when Christians take a custom or tradition in society, and make it into a commandment from God. In this case, people who think that this is God's way of putting a family together aren't even reading their Bibles. Here's a few examples that contradict this way of thinking:
  1. The "ideal woman" described in Proverbs 31 is definitely a business woman, as well as a wife and a mother.
  2. Lydia, the convert mentioned in Acts 16, was a merchant. We know she had some sort of family, because she and her whole household were baptized. Yet no word that she gave up her business when she came to faith.
  3. Priscilla in Acts 18. That passage says Paul worked with she and her husband in Corinth. Obviously she was involved in the family business. (She was also involved in ministry to an extant that would make some Christians today uncomfortable.)
  4. The women who followed Jesus around, and actually financially supported His ministry, were women with money. How they got their money isn't clear, but they certainly weren't at home cooking and cleaning.
These are 4 examples I came up with quickly that dispel the idea that God favors families with women who stay home with the kids. That may have been the cherished norm for 1950's America, but not the biblical standard.

Here's what I think God wants families to look like: Husbands and wives who love each other passionately. Husbands and wives who try to model Jesus for their kids and everyone around them. Kids who see that loving someone means making sacrifices to do what's best for them. Kids who are allowed to flourish into the people God intends them to be. Parents and kids who love each other and love God, and that love spills out in the way they treat everyone around them.

I think that's more ideal. But maybe that's just me...

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