Basically, I think that my job as husband and father is:
- to make sure that I focus on being a good protector, provider and moral spiritual leader by making good decisions and setting aside time to learn how to defend my views on religion and morality
- to make sure that I am aware of areas where God has an interest, like the abortion debate, the marriage debate, the debate over the origin of the universe, the debate over biological origins, the debate over free markets vs secular socialism, the debate over religious liberty and family vs fascism, etc.
- to make sure that I am aware of the skills, arguments and evidence that are related to these trouble areas
- to make sure that I assess the skills and capabilities of my future children
- to choose a wife who is aware of these problem areas and the relevant skills
- assess the skills and capabilities of the children
- communicate to them the areas where Christianity is under fire
- demonstrate to the children how much these areas matter to their parents
- together with my future wife, to steer the future children into degrees and careers that will move the ball forward in these areas.
- act intentionally to ensure that they achieve influence in the problem areas as effectively as possible
I don’t think that it is Dad’s job to just roll over and pay for a wife and several children unless the wife agrees with me to try and achieve something together that we could not achieve as singles. I.e. – I think that if we have a child, then we should NOT be as happy if the child is a poet as we would be if the child is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or William Lane Craig. I think that some things that a child can be are more influential than others, and that children should be jointly steered in the direction of being influential and effective as a way of making the marriage count for the Lord. And I think the Bible supports the idea of stewardship and making the most of gifts and blessings.
So I don’t feel that I am obligated to marry unless I can foresee that my wife is serious about making the marriage, family and children count for God. If I don’t foresee a return on the investment, which is quite risky for the man given the feminism and socialism in the laws and tax codes, then wouldn’t I be better off just working and giving the money away to Christian speakers for apologetics speaking and debating? Children typically cost $250,000 and stay-at-home moms are expensive too. Is it worth it to have a wife who doesn’t agree with me on the purpose of the marriage and the parenting? Am I supposed to hand her hundreds of thousands of dollars and get nothing at all back to show for it?
I think the fundamental question is this: What is the purpose of marriage for men, and how should a prospective wife present herself to a man who wants the marriage and the children to count for the Lord? How can she show that she is aware of what he is planning and show that she has taken steps to help him to achieve results for God, instead of just making herself happy? How can she show that there a difference between a child being a good student and a bad student? How can she show that there a difference between writing poetry and being an ADF lawyer?
Are some directions more likely to have an influence on the culture than others? Is the role of parents to produce a return for the blessings that God has given them, or are they just supposed to let children do whatever makes them happy, so that the parents will be happy and be their children’s friends? I think what it boils down to is this: should Christian parents steer their children to be William Lane Craig or Michele Bachmann on purpose, or should they just let them be poets if that’s what makes the children happy?