If you missed the amazing stories of the four people City on a Hill baptized on July 21, here they are. https://vimeo.com/71268114
The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and Kathy Keller is the best read for anyone getting married or already married.
Their lectures, Cultivating a Healthy Marriage and Part 1 & 2 are an excellent supplement.
The Millennial “Nones”
People under 30 are quickly becoming the “none” generation. When asked about religious affiliation, 32% of this age group answers “none” according to research released this week by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Read the whole article on USA Today here: http://ow.ly/elBCX
The Day of Atonement and the Gospel
Brookline, where CoaH is located, has one of the highest concentration of Jews in the world outside of Israel (roughly 35% of the local population) and the nearby city of Newton also has a significant Jewish population. As many of these folks celebrate Yom Kippur today (the Day of Atonement), it is important for Christians to understand the rich theological truths that are pictured in this important Jewish holiday.
Here is a helpful article from our friends at the Village Church in Dallas which outlines how Jesus is the ultimate picture of the Day of Atonement. It will not only be theologically informative, but will encourage you to reflect deeply and with gratitude on the cross during Yom Kippur. http://www.thevillagechurch.net/sermon/the-gospel-in-the-day-of-atonement/
by Fletcher Lang, City on a Hill’s Family Ministry Director
Question 1: Biblically, Is it ok to be a stay at home dad while the wife is a bread winner?
This questions is difficult to answer. First of all, what is the husband doing at home? Playing X-Box? If that is the situation, do not read the rest of this article, the answer is “no,” that is not OK. But let’s assume that the husband is raising their children. Then the question remains difficult.
The reason why it is so difficult is because the “what if” situations are almost endless. “What if the husband is chronically ill or disabled?” “What if the wife’s job pays $200,000 and the husband’s job pays $30,000?” “What if the couple is in debt that they will never get out of unless the woman takes the higher paying job?” “What if the wife enjoys work more than the husband and the husband enjoys staying home more?”
The Image Matters
On April 9, 2003 the US military tore down the huge statue of Saddam Hussein that sat in the very heart of the Iraqi capital. The videos and images of this toppling statue were distributed all throughout the world. This statue bore the image of Saddam, and this image was so impactful because it repudiated the authority of the dictator. To deface this statue was the same thing as to shame and deface the person of Saddam Hussein.
There is an image in the Bible that represents character of Christ in much the same way that this statue represented Saddam. That image is marriage. The Bible says that the institution of marriage represents the gospel itself. The way that men are to love their wives represents the way that Christ loves the church, and the way that wives are to respect and submit to their husbands represents the way the church is to respect and submit to Christ.
The image matters. When you mess with the way God has designed marriage, you are messing with the very picture of the good news of Christianity.
If this image is so important, there are a few things that are non-negotiable (taken from Ephesians 5).
- Husbands are to love their wives like Christ loved the church. He does this by sacrificing and giving all he has for her good, just like Christ sacrificed himself for our good.
- Wives are to submit to their husbands as to the Lord. She does this by respecting him and following him in all things that do not lead to sin.
No matter what the working/staying home situation is, these things are non-negotiable for Christian marriages. If the man stays home, he is still the head of the household and is to love his wife like the church. If the woman works, she is still to submit to and respect her husband like Christ.
The Situational Answer and the Manly Challenge
The answer to this question is situational. If the husband is disabled, of course it’s ok. If the wife is a nuclear engineer (and has $300,000 of school loans) and the husband is a social worker, it might be ok. But if there is any opportunity for the husband to be like Christ, he should take it.
Here’s what I mean: If your situation requires for the husband to work an extra job to make ends meet while the wife stays home with the family, then he is being very Christ-like and should be honored. Of course this is not to be at the expense of him being present with his family in a meaningful way. Does every family have to adopt this model? No. It’s OK for both mom and dad to work out of the home. But does this model of marriage reflect the image of the gospel? Possibly.
Men. I challenge you to do everything you can to display the love of Christ towards your wife to a dying and unbelieving world. I pray that your friends and neighbors will be able to recognize the good news of Jesus that you are reflecting.
Question 2: What if there is a girl who has a very outgoing, leading personality and a guy who has more of a laid back, “whatever” type personality and they get married? Do they both have to change their personalities to make the biblical roles work?
I see two main aspects to this question: 1. Is it ok to determine relational roles based upon personality? 2. Should I ever have to change my personality?
1. Is it ok to determine relational roles based upon personality?
It depends upon what you mean by roles. Let’s remember the non-negotiables: the Bible is very clear that the husband’s job is to lead, provide, and protect his wife by loving her sacrificially as Christ does the church; and the wife’s job is to lovingly submit to and respect her husband as the church does Christ. Does that mean that women cook and men fix stuff? Not necessarily. Does this mean that men are to be super-outgoing/talkative and women are to be quiet? Absolutely not. It means that married men and women should reflect the gospel in their own, unique way.
2. Should I ever have to change my personality?
Before we can come to Christ, we must understand that we are deeply flawed, sinful individuals. This is why we need Christ. Before we know Christ, everything we do is for selfish motives – even our best deeds. This means that when we come to Christ, we must be willing to allow him to change every aspect of who we are. We should remain to be distinct people created uniquely by God, but at the same time we need to be being transformed into the image of Christ. Married couples find that this process of transformation is greatly encouraged by trying to reflect the gospel in their relationship. So, in a sense, yes, you must be willing to allow Christ to change who you are in order to better reflect his image.
Men can still be laid back and lead their home. Women can still be outgoing and submit to their husbands. But both husbands and wives must be willing to change in order to better reflect the gospel in their marriages. We’re not looking for cookie-cutter, Leave It to Beaver, households; we’re looking for unique marriages that all reflect the gospel in their own distinct ways.
Panel Discussion Video from T4G – Complementarianism: Essential or Expendable?
What’s the Difference? by John Piper
Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem