Professor Owen Strachan: Stay at Home Fatherhood is Not Biblical

Professor Owen Strachan (Photo Credit: Courier-Journal.com)

Professor Owen Strachan of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has a message for stay-at-home dads: You are violating the gender roles that are highlighted and espoused in the Bible. Strachan’s views, which are obviously controversial in nature, have led the academic to refer to “dad moms,” men to choose to stay home and raise their children as “man fails” — a less-than-flattering title.

In The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Strachan, who teaches about Christian theology and church history, wrote an article entitled, “Of ‘Dad Moms’ and ‘Man Fails’: An Essay on Men and Awesomeness.” In it, he affirmed that women — not men — are “called to the high calling of raising families, given that God blesses them with children and making homes, being homemakers.”

Here’s a portion from the article that showcases Strachan’s views on the issue of gender roles:

Does this mean, though, that if a man folds laundry he is some sort of spineless creature, giving up his God-given duties for work he should not countenance? Not at all. There is nothing biblically to indicate that it’s wrong for a man to pitch in where he can to help his wife. I do not think a husband is called to be a homemaker as a wife is, but neither do I experience personal internal conflict when I wash some dishes at night to help out my wife, who has been nurturing small children and executing countless household tasks all day while I’ve worked to provide. Complementarianism, with its connection between the husband’s work and Christ’s provision, sets the bar higher for men than the culture does.

It’s not easier to be a godly man; you can’t claim the title “lord of the home” and then plop yourself into the easy chair to watch ESPN and lose yourself in your iPhone, leaving discipline and training and teaching to your wife. Contrary to what we see most everywhere in our society today, men are not called by God to tune out from the family and merely make money. No, men are supposed to lead in all areas, including training of the children, discipline, and opportunities for sacrifice.

In a Moody Radio interview on September 25, the professor defended his views, claiming that the biblical nature of men and women is contrary to much of what we’re seeing in today’s society. During the interview he defined the overall views he holds about males and females in detail — stances that have drawn the ire of critics.

“I would say both men and women bear the image of God and so are fully invested for a life of meaningful service for God,” Strachan proclaimed. “That’s my starting point, but I would say then from a broad biblical theology that men are called to be leaders, providers, protectors and women are nurturers.”

During the radio appearance, the professor debated Matt Peregoy, a stay-at-home father who rejects the professor’s views on stay-at-home dads and “man fails.” The Associated Baptist Press has more about the debate:

Matt Peregoy, a stay-at-home dad in Gettysburg, Pa., who blogs at The Real Matt Daddy, told Moody Radio’s Julie Roys that he is happier, healthier and his marriage is stronger than ever since he quit his job and became primary caretaker for his daughter a year and a half ago.

Peregoy said that for the first year after his daughter was born he worked in retail while his wife stayed at home. Eventually, however, he felt the odd hours he worked was keeping him away from his family, while his wife’s former employer was begging her to come back to work full time.

Strachan commended Peregoy for his concern for his family, but he said the Bible outlines “a definitive plan for men that begins in Genesis and is elaborated throughout the rest of the Scripture.”

Read more about the controversial debate — and Strachan’s views on the matter — over at The Associated Baptist Press.