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Published on October 3rd, 2013 | by Nathaniel

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Why You Want Your Man to Bring Home the Bacon

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Picture this: It’s a fairly typical prehistoric day. Like every other, the sweltering sun is whipping down and your cave, lacking modern ventilation, is as hot as chicken grease- biodegrading your icebox full of berries and your unpreserved cold-cuts. All twelve of your kids are crying and your head is in a tail-spin. You’ve had enough- you’re hungry, tired, and a little pissed off so you find Ugh, your loving, often boneheaded husband, and ask him to go be manly- you know, kill one or two bears and maybe a baby T-Rex for dinner. His response?

“You. Do. It.”

Not quite how you it’s supposed to work, right? The chasm between traditional, even biblical and post-modern, 21st century gender roles has brought us to an interesting, wavering paradigm. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of stay-at-home dads hovers around 3.5 percent. While still low, this number has nearly doubled over the past decade. With the “traditional family” structure in question and the number of single-parent households on the rise, is the question of assigned gender roles even relevant?

As men, we inherently believe that women want to be protected- that they want to feel secure in the context of a relationship. And I think we’ve been conditioned to see ourselves as the much-needed protector. We equate protector and provider to power. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to strong, independent, and hard-working women, powerful and protecting in their own right, not needing a man to fulfill that role. And I’m sure most men in the 21st century have seen a strong, independent, and successful woman, as determined by the world’s standards. So as a collective, I think men are questioning, “What is our role if we don’t need to be the breadwinners?”  In the past, being the “bread-winner” legitimized us as the head of the household- the visible strength and power source.

As both men and women, I think we’ve focused too much on the superficial “power dynamic” of what it means for “wives to submit to their husbands” in Colossians 3:18. A text convo with B.E. writer, Sonia, got me thinking- “bring home the bacon” means more than providing financial direction for a family. As men we’ve been entrusted by God to lead our families and if we look to Jesus as the ultimate example of leadership, we see that leadership implies patience, faithfulness, commitment, love, and serving. But over time, I think the biblical intention of a man serving as the head of his household was flipped to imply that he should abuse financial “servantship” as a means to control his wife and his children. Servantship doesn’t imply one role; it’s an all encompassing position of humility, absence of superficial pride.

To every man reading this post, I want to challenge us to “bring home the bacon” by serving in every aspect. To the women reading this post, I want to challenge you to not feed into power-struggle by contending for “superficial-power” in the context of your relationship or future relationship.

We’d love to hear your thoughts- Do you think there is a rift between what the bible says and what society wants when it comes to gender roles?

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