Fox News Channel

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.

About The Author

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

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  • http://chadthomasjohnston.com Chad Thomas Johnston

    Dude, I’m in the exact same position as you. Ha! :) Ditto, brother. DITTO.

  • Steve

    I bet 5 bucks that someone shares this without realizing that it’s satire.

    • Fitz

      Is it wrong that I kind of hope that happens?

      • Joseph Martin

        I suppose it’s not wrong if you don’t read the dicey passages in Scripture that talk about being deceptive.

        • Joseph Martin

          Then again, it would be hard to stop a fool in his folly. So it wouldn’t be wrong, so much as expected that it get’s shared unbeknownst to the fool as satire.

  • http://bookwi.se Adam shields

    I have been a full time nanny or my two nieces the past 5 years and this fall will be a stay at home dad for my soon to be born daughter. In 16 years if marriage I have yet to make more than my wife.

  • Patrick Sawyer

    Notwithstanding this post being an attempt at satire, I do wonder if you (and perhaps a significant percentage of your readers) actually understand what biblical complimentarianism is. You state “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”. Biblical complimentarianism affirms that very statement save for the imprecision at the end with the phrase “we would make decisions as two people on equal footing”. In one sense a biblical complimentarian position would affirm that phrase in another sense it would take issue with it.

    Biblical complimentarianism would affirm that husbands and wives are in fact intrinsically equal as human beings (and in Christ) but would also affirm that the husband and wife may not be on equal footing in terms of who is better equipped to make a particular decision.

    For instance, my wife is an expert on wine. She has managed a successful boutique wine store and directed several high profile wine tastings (fundraisers for gubernatorial and congressional races as examples). My understanding of wine, while significant compared to most, is nowhere near her expertise. So when a decision has to be made about what wine will pair well with the food at a massive Christmas party we have every other year, her and I are NOT on equal footing as to what wine should be selected. As a Christian with a biblical complimentarian perspective God expects me to lead (yes, lead) in such a way that I defer to my wife’s expertise and desires in this type of situation. Why? First, because my understanding on the matter is not equal to hers. Second, third, fourth, etc., because I love her and this particular gathering means a lot to her. And because I love her, I am sensitive to that reality, as God expects me to be.

    Biblical complimentarianism has zero to do with oppression, inequality and control and everything to do with trying to be sensitive to what God has said regarding certain functional roles (which each have the SAME INTRINSIC VALUE to God) and how those roles should be normally contextualized across gender. (Now I realize gender is a contested term in secular academia but hopefully you understand my meaning).

    • Huol

      I think you are missing the point. The example of the wine is about giving deference to the individual who has more knowledge and experience. Complementarians, on the other hand, believe that males were created by God to be better at making certain decisions, primarily in the area of leadership, than women were. This inequality between the sexes in the ability to lead was God-ordained. No matter how much a women may try to lead, she will never be good as a man.

      Whereas in your own example, if you were to train and learn as much as your wife did, you’d become just as good a sommelier as she is.

      • Patrick Sawyer

        Huol,

        I can see why you might say I was missing the point with the example I used but I’m not actually. Notice I did say that I should LEAD in such a way as to be sensitive to the superior expertise my wife has in certain areas.

        Yes, complimentarians do believe that God has given ultimate leadership, all other things being equal, to husbands. BUT this has no connection to the promotion of inequality or the exercise of sinful control by the husband.

        My point was simply that biblical complimentarianism (and not sinful perversions of it) agrees in the main with the Fitzgerald comment I quoted (notwithstanding that he insinuates the opposite).

        And as I said, God has assigned differing general functions or roles to married people that on some level have a gender component but, again, these differing roles are EQUAL in the sight of God. Any prioritization of these roles is the work of sinful men and women, not God.

        Also, God has not put these roles in a straight jacket. Proverbs 31 women, which all women should aspire to from God’s standpoint, are clearly married (v11), working (v16, v24), and exercising leadership (v16, v26).

        Many articles which attempt to malign complimentarianism often do so by making blanket statements that, in truth, misrepresent biblical complimentarianism by insinuating or creating a perversion of complimentarianism that is then summarily dismissed and rejected. To some extent Fitzgerald’s post does this as seen by the quote of his I highlighted.

  • pj

    “Pathetic castration”

    10/10 if ruse