Is being a house husband Biblical?
by Robert Chamberlain
(Please note this is a jokey choice of photo!)
I remember having this debate with a previous pastor’s wife, as I contemplated marrying my professionally successful wife. As I’ve never had a career as such (I don’t think “tent making” or even occasional preaching and evangelism count in my case), I kind of knew that becoming a house husband was a real possibility for me (if it’s Biblical).
I said that I felt the assumption has always been (traditionally) that the man goes to work and the wife stays at home. Even the Proverbs 31 woman, industrious as she was, worked from home.
But I don’t think we need to limit ourselves to 1950s gender stereotypes when considering the will of God for men and women, or for me specifically.
The pastor’s wife (and he often works from home) pointed out Deuteronomy 6 as a potential challenge to the stereotype…
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ESV
This is not a picture of a bloke so sold out to his work that he’s got no time for his kids.
Admittedly the context was very different to today, but the principle remains: dads should be present in their children’s lives.
For me personally, I also think of this verse,
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 ESV
Although I’m working part time, the lion’s share of my work will be to bring up my child. Is that so unbiblical? I personally don’t think so.