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My Calling as a Female BreadwinnerJD Hancock / Flickr

My Calling as a Female Breadwinner

Jun 25 2013
Sometimes Christian women can’t help breaking traditional gender roles.

I sometimes disagree with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. But this time she was right: There are no data proving that children who grow up in homes where the mother is the primary breadwinner fare any worse.

In a debate on Fox Business, her colleagues Lou Dobbs and Erik Erickson argued, in so many words, that moms working outside the home will harm children. Dobbs mostly sat there smirking, calling Kelly "o dominant one" when she, you know, expressed an opinion. Meanwhile, said Erickson, "Kids most likely will do best in households where they have a mom at home nurturing them while dad is out bringing home the bacon… When you look at the natural world, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it's not antithesis, it's not competing, it's a complementary role."

Now, a record high four out of ten mothers are the primary breadwinners for their families. That's 40 percent of U.S. women apparently bucking their hardwiring—up from about 11 percent in 1960, when having a wife at home was both a status symbol and a practical way to raise kids. That women didn't have to work signaled that husbands had arrived career-wise, their wives freed up to dive into parenting and domestic duties. The women who did work tended to be single moms—which remains true for 63 percent of female breadwinners today.

As Jonathan Merritt recently reported, some Christians are lamenting the rise of female breadwinners. And not because it means more women raise their children by themselves (a significant social issue, it must be said). Rather, "In the Bible, men are not called to be workers at home. Women are," Owen Strachan, executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, told Merritt.* "And women and even widows are called to marry, as the Lord allows, and then bear children and make a home."

Mary Kassian, author of Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, echoed Strachan. "As a woman who has been a professional and has spoken with lots of working women, I've seen how a mom being the full breadwinner puts a strain on them," she said. "It affects them in a way that doesn't affect men." Elsewhere, Kassian has claimed that

God created men to draw their identity from work… God created woman to draw identity from relationships and networking…. You may have a job where you earn more money than your husband, and it may be practical for you to go out and earn the money and for him to stay home. But there's something in terms of identity that you're going against when you do that.

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  • @mmmirele But you're right, it is important that we remain sensitive to that perspective. In serving one another, no one should feel "used."

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