Laura, thank you for your remarks. You took me aback with your confession! I'm glad to be in conversation with you. There are many points worth careful consideration in your thoughtful post. Now, this self-professed "Dad Dad" will respond.
First, let me say that I have no problem doing dishes and helping my wife in different ways. An example: For nearly three years my wife and I had no dishwasher at our Highland Park rental. Loving my wife in a Christocentric, self-sacrificial way meant rolling up my sleeves multiple times a week to attack hard-bitten lasagna pans and ramekins formerly consecrated to delicious ends. I would venture that I do a good sight more of this kind of work than did my grandfather. Manhood must not be determined by the culture, but it does look a bit different in diverse times and places. That's not biblically problematic in my view.
The question, though, is whether I am to take on the burden of such work as a man. My read of numerous scriptural texts is that I am not. I try to help out where I can, but I am called of God to break my back to provide for my family so that my wife can care for my children and also my home in order that they and it might flourish. The pattern for such a life comes from texts both obvious and less expected. Genesis 3:16 shows that the Fall brings the curse to bear on the woman's sphere of cultivation: children. Verse 18 shows that the Fall brings the curse to bear on the man's sphere of cultivation: provision, whether located in the four walls of the house or outside it. We are redeemed from the curse, but not from God's wise plan—and childbearing and provision are not effects of the Fall.
It is men who are out in the fields and tending the sheep in the Old Testament, ...1
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