Is it OK to be a stay at home dad?

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SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
When I hear 'stay-at-home dad,' I hear a lifestyle choice, rather than a concession to necessity that everyone involved hopes is temporary.
My thoughts exactly.

It is one thing for a man to be providentially hindered from having the ability to be the financial/material provider for the family and quite another for the man and/or his wife to decide that he should just stay home and be "Mr. Mom."
 

bug

Puritan Board Freshman
Jonathan, I think what is primarily important in situations such as you mention is the attitude of the wife (and the husband) toward each other. In a family, what is important is the biblical model of submission and love to one another and to Christ. If the roles must be reversed for a period of time for whatever reason, I don't think that we make even question what someone else is doing unless we see an obvious problem in their treatment of one another.
Precisely my point, thank you :)

---------- Post added at 03:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:05 PM ----------

Well sometimes it is, and then it is the churches job to correct such a man, sometimes it is because the wife is a very strong personality and it seems the roles have been reveresed in the home, that too needs to correction, yet pastorally I have come across situations where necessity has dictated who stays and home and who works.
Why is it the church's job to correct this situation? Isn't this a family decision? The church has their sphere of authority and I don't know that it extends into household, familial decisions.
I believe Paul would disagree with you, considering the amount he writes in his epistles regarding the ordering of the family. Surely the church has a responsibility to stir each other up to good works (Heb 10:24), to edify (Heb 10:25)each other and admonish (Rom 15:14) each other, or do you believe the bible excludes the family from this. I believe our care for each other should be 'holistic' - my job is not to just fill people heads with doctrine, but to guide them towards christlikeness in preperation for glory. I need to teach them how to be a family, what to be like at work etc

The husband has authority over this area. Of course, the question would then become is it a sin for a man to stay home. While I certainly have my preferences, I don't know if one can make the case from scripture that it's an outright sin for a man to stay home while the wife works. I am willing to be corrected though.
I think you must be assuming I mean 'discipline' but I am not simply thinking of that avenue, but rather of teaching and helping. As for being a stay at home dad, as I have already stated it is something that must be considered on a case by case basis. I am simply asking questions of all those who making generic, blanket statements which to my mind fail in relation the very real and complicated situations we face.

---------- Post added at 03:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:23 PM ----------

When I hear 'stay-at-home dad,' I hear a lifestyle choice, rather than a concession to necessity that everyone involved hopes is temporary.
My thoughts exactly.

It is one thing for a man to be providentially hindered from having the ability to be the financial/material provider for the family and quite another for the man and/or his wife to decide that he should just stay home and be "Mr. Mom."
I have learnt that we never assume anything based upon people's first words. In most pastoral situations the problem is not which is firsat specified, but usually something deeper. Now it may well be a lifestyle choice, or it might be that some men will talk like this because of their embarrassment/ unwillingness to admit their failure to be the breadwinner. There is a always a need to dig deeper to my mind :)
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Interesting, I was made redundant (with a large payoff) from an IT job just after our first child was born. I counted it a privilege to be able to spend so much time with my daughter and still be the bread winner. I split my time between looking after the Kid(s) and completing my ministry training which allowed my wife to continue working part time as a medical doctor. I say Kid(s) because my second child was born during this period as well. As my wife doesn't take well to pregnancy I doubt we would have been able to have another child and still care properly for our first had I not been on hand to help. Even now, as a Pastor I work from my study at home as much as possible to be around for the kids, if anything the problem we face in the west is dads not spending enough time with their children!

My point in telling this little tale is to point out that as with most things like this it is not a simple yes/no answer, there are many factors to consider, for example a man made redundant and being unable to work, whilst his wife can get a secretarial job. I obviously have no problem with my own situation, yet pastorally I will tell a man to get back to work if I think he is staying home through laziness etc.

The issue is not about being a stay at home dad, the issue is about does the man live up to his God given duty to be the head of his house, and if he doesn't how does the church help/ train him to fulfil that role. And because of the fallen nature of the world in which we life, we have to remember that some times the situation is 'make do' and often every Christian involved in a situation that is not ideal, feels that and wants to do something about it.



if anything the problem we face in the west is dads not spending enough time with their children!
I would like to challenge that assertion and, if needed, start another OP directed at this common but mistaken view.


The West at this time enjoys greater leisure time than any culture at any time in the world. Parents today, including dads, spend more leisure time with their children than at any previous time in history. Unless of course you count living in a one-room medieval mud hut and farming 40 acres for barely filling your stomach as "quality time with your children."
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
The West at this time enjoys greater leisure time than any culture at any time in the world. Parents today, including dads, spend more leisure time with their children than at any previous time in history. Unless of course you count living in a one-room medieval mud hut and farming 40 acres for barely filling your stomach as "quality time with your children."
Yes, for sure.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Think of the thousands of families throughout history who farmed and worked at home. On the very typical midwestern farm of the early 1900s, the kind where my mother and her father were raised, the dad was home all day, so was the mother, and they ALL worked, mom, dad, and children. Most of the time the father spent with the children was working. However, I do want to point out that a lot of quality time can be spent while milking cows, cleaning out animal pens, shucking corn, making bread, hoeing fields, etc. It isn't play time, but it's good time for serious conversations.

For example, my husband and I clean out the chicken coops together, because it turns out it's some of the best time we can talk about serious issues without being distracted by phones, children and neighbors dropping in. Both of us actually look forward to it for that reason.
 
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