I recently had a conversation with a man that is of a younger generation than I am. He’s a nice guy and I know his wife and mother. He and his wife just recently had a baby. I asked him a couple questions about the baby and how it was going; he told me that he and his wife just recently went back to work. They are school teachers.
He told me the baby is going to day care and my heart began to break as I considered how completely normal this is today. I asked him if he had ever considered having his wife stay home with the baby? He told me he didn’t think they could afford that. Then he said; “well I know people used to be able to live on one income.” Yes I said “it’s often a matter of your priorities.”
Then he transitioned into telling me that if they would ever go to one income he would probably be the one that would stay home.
Long pause by me…
“Well she just loves her job and I just couldn’t see her doing anything else”. Soooooo… I’m not sure I have time to handle that one I thought. Hmmm… “Yeah I know people do that these days.” My brain was frozen, I just couldn’t think of anything else to say.
I’ve reflected on this conversation over the last week and I woke up the other night thinking about it. What in the world has happened to manhood? When did the wife working and the man taking care of the children become the new normal, and why? Take a look around and see what society is doing to manliness. The traditional roles have gone by the wayside for most, and if you dare start talking about patriarchy people think you’re a knuckle dragger.
As a father and a man that desires to live according to God’s word I must do my best to instill biblical truth into my household. My 13 year old daughter Grace and I have been going through a book called WHAT HE MUST BE …if he wants to marry my daughter by Voddie Baucham Jr. We’ve spent a great deal of time pouring through the words and discussing the importance of what this means for her and her future husband.
Pastor Baucham beautifully leads us through the qualifications of being a man of God and Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I’ve printed “Dads Copy” on mine as I believe I will go through this multiple times with all my daughters. Here are just a couple excerpts from the book.
I believe God has spoken rather decisively in his Word about what our daughters should look for, Moreover, I believe there are some non-negotiables that our daughters must be looking for. There are some things a man simply must be before he is qualified to assume the role of a Christian husband. For instance, he must be a Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14); he must be committed to biblical headship (Ephesians 5:23ff.); he must welcome children (Psalm 127:3-5); he must be a suitable priest (Joshua 24:15), prophet (Ephesians 6:4), protector (Nehemiah 4:13-14), and provider (1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 2:5). A man who does not possess – or at least show strong signs of – these and other basic characteristics does not meet the basic job description laid down for husbands in the Bible.
Moreover, as a father, it is my responsibility to teach my daughter what these requirements are, encourage her not to settle for less, and walk with her through the process of evaluating potential suitors. Of course these ideas may come as a shock to many in contemporary Christian circles (not to mention society at large) Page 16-17
Does this sound like most young men that you know these days? I honestly can’t think of any outside of my church that would even consider thinking like this, although I know there are some. I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to have Godly men that desire to teach younger men how to be men. Not a man that is willing to have his wife go to work for him, but a man that takes responsibility to labor and toil to provide for his family.
However, little thought is given to preparing our sons to be husbands. Thus, they meander through life without the skills or mind-set necessary to play this most important role….
That was me.
As a result, we have families led by men who haven’t the foggiest idea what their role is or how to carry it out. We have wives who were created with a God-given need to be led by godly men, a curse from the days in the garden that puts them at odds with this arrangement, and a cultural mandate to fight against male headship. Top this off with children who long for the security that can only be found in clear roles and boundaries in the home, and the result is a frustrated family mired in dysfunction. Sound familiar? Page 43
It’s no wonder that most people want to turn their kids over to a daycare. They have no idea how to raise them. Everybody that gets married seems to want kids but as married couples they don’t understand how to relate to each other and they certainly don’t know how to relate to the kids. I say this from experience. I was that guy.
Believers and non-believers alike stumble through parenting doing their best but that won’t change a generation back to God’s plan for the family. What do we do to change this? I can only give my personal testimony of the peace and joy that we have experienced since we’ve begun embracing the biblical model of family. Not to perfection by any means but as we draw near to God He draws near to us.
Here are a couple suggestions.
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Be a mentor. Older men you should mentor younger men and boys. You should always be mentoring someone and be mentored by someone.
Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.
Be Biblical. We must use God’s word to change hearts and minds. God is very clear in how to instruct the next generation.
James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Learn from others. Find someone that can teach you. If not in your church challenge the pastor and elders to lead in this area. Voddie Baucham and Paul Washer are two excellent resources on biblical manhood and womanhood and are readily available through a Google search.
1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.
Dedicate yourself to this endeavor. Don’t read these words and forget about them after you close this web page. If you have children Deuteronomy 6 applies to you.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
I hope I have an opportunity to talk with this man again someday. I hope I can tell him there is a better way. I hope Gods church can shine light in a dark place, there’s a lot more at stake than meets the eye.