I’ve been wondering, and I confess, I don’t have answers. But perhaps the three people who read this blog might be willing to throw some comments my way. Some of you might remember the move Mr. Mom starring Michael Keaton. It’s a comedy about a man who decides to stay home and raise the kids while his wife brings home the bacon (figuratively speaking, of course). A friend and I were talking about the roles of men and women in society and were discussing scenarios where both husband and wife (with children) worked outside the home where the woman earned more income than the man.

As a complimentarian theologically (meaning I believe Scripture specifies that male and female are meant to have complimentary roles, and that while men and women have equal value in the eyes of God, they have been designed for specific roles in the world) and not an egalitarian (meaning male and female are equal in every way, including leadership and ministry roles; more could be said about both of these but time doesn’t permit), I have to wonder whether it would be a violation of biblical principles for a woman who is married with children (particularly young childrne) to work outside the home and support the family simply because she earns a higher income than her husband. Yes, there are situations that may require both husband and wife to work outside the home, but what about the situation where the family desires to have one parent at home with the children, but decides that this person should be the husband purely for financial reasons?

Surprisingly, I had never really even thought about this until a conversation over a game of Settlers of Cataan the other day. In Titus 2:3-5, we learn that older women are encouraged to mentor younger women. “They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled”. Paul, in his instructions about unmarried and widows regarding the benefits of serving Jesus, tells us that “the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband” (2Cor 8:34). The implication is that married women have a specific role in the home, a role shaped and ordained for women alone. The implication is that the role of the wife is to support, love and compliment her husband and raise and love her children above all other agendas.

Those whose worldview has been shaped largely by the feminist agenda will likely repine at the suggestion that a married woman who earns more income than her husband should be the one to stay at home with the children, but it seems to me that Scripture is pointing in this direction. This isn’t an argument about whether women should work at all outside the home. There are many cases where this is appropriate. However, when a married couple has young children, where possible, women should seriously consider the benefits of staying at home with their young children during their formative years.

Yes, I said women should consider their role in this. I didn’t say a man can’t do it. He can, my belief is that this is not what God has called the man to do. Questions like these quickly point us to the bottomline of what Scripture intends to teach us about the roles of men and women. What do you think?