I have no one to blame but myself.
Eight years ago, when my wife and I were preparing to get married, we sat through several pre-marital counseling sessions with our friend and pastor, and we listened attentively as he explained the different interpretations of Ephesians 5. We told him that we are not complementarians but egalitarians, and we even asked him, for the sake of not giving off the wrong impression, if we could forego the reading of that particularly dicey passage from Ephesians. I affirmed that my wife is equal to me, that we should submit to and love each other, and that, in our family, we would make decisions as two people on equal footing.
Well, all these years later, my youthful naiveté has finally come back to bite me. See, my wife is the primary breadwinner in our family, and now that we have a child, in September when school is back in session, she’ll go back to teaching full time and I’ll teach part time and the rest of the time I’ll be stuck at home with the miserable burden of being primary caregiver for our beautiful new daughter. If only I’d listened to the complementarians!
As if my private shame wasn’t bad enough, thanks to a recent study released by the Pew Forum indicating that women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of households with children, I stand chastised by the talking heads at Fox News as well. When Lou Dobbs gathered an all-male panel to discuss the study, it felt like he and the fellas were talking directly to me. Yes, Juan Williams, something has gone terribly wrong, and I have no doubt it will hurt my children.
And, if it wasn’t bad enough that my wife serving as primary breadwinner is destroying my marriage and ruining my child, I’m also shackled with the burden of knowing that we are rending apart the very fabric of civilization.
Why didn’t I listen to people like Erick Erickson when they told me that males are always dominant in nature? I mean, that’s just science, right? Maybe if I had acknowledged my dominant role over my wife all those years ago, I could have been the one “bringing home the bacon,” as Erickson writes, and leave my wife at home to do the “nurturing.” And speaking of bacon, if I wasn’t so submissive, I bet I could eat real bacon instead of the turkey stuff.
Sure, Megyn Kelly, or “oh dominant one,” as Lou Dobbs calls her, got in a few good points when she had Dobbs and Erickson on her show. The counter studies she cited talk a good game and her comparison of the current situation to the way interracial couples were viewed in the 20th century were almost convincing, coming from a woman. But I know that that’s just more of what Erickson calls “politically correct outrage.”
Anyway, I should know, as I’ve seen it first hand. Be warned Christian men, you might think you’re just acknowledging the humanity of your spouse, you might get caught up in notions of equality or egalitarianism, but then someday down the line you’ll find yourself in the same emasculating position as me: pursuing your dream of writing full time while sharing the awesome responsibility of caring for a new human life while your wife — I can hardly say it — brings home the bacon.
TagsAndrew Sullivan Atheism Barack Obama Bible Book Review Books Capitalism Catholic Church Catholicism Charles Taylor Christian Christianity Christianity Today Conservatism Conservatives Education Evangelicalism Evangelicals Facebook Faith Feminism God History Jesus Journalism Mark Driscoll Marriage Martin Heidegger Marvin Olasky Marxism Media New Sincerity New York Times Patheos Philosophy Politics Religion Religion and Spirituality Ross Douthat Same-sex marriage Secularism Theology United States Women Young Evangelicals