Here’s a tough-but-practical question: If you and your partner are broke, should you get married and have kids?
My instinct is to say “If you want” and “No,” in that order. Money isn’t a prerequisite for marriage, but it’s certainly true that fights over money are a common cause for divorce. And if you have a choice, why not hold off on the children until you’re more financially stable? That, to me, at least seems sensible.
Pastor Mark Driscoll doesn’t say that. Instead, he uses the question as a starting point to tell the questioner that he’s not really a man and he needs to find another man to teach him how to become a man. Because men.
But first, a random creepy comment:
… I’m a father with two daughters, so I think like a dad. As a dad, I know the vital importance of money. If you were courting my daughter, I would not have a big mushy heart and goo-goo eyes, but I would give you a theological quiz, check your Internet browser for porn, and look at some bank statements.
So I guess an atheist with a job who knows how to clear his browser history passes the test! (*High fives all around*)
Here’s what Driscoll says about money that is (almost) spot on:
Money is not everything, but if you don’t have it, then you complicate everything. You don’t need to be rich, but you do need to provide. And if you cannot or will not provide, then certain decisions — Will you have children? When will you have children? How many children will you have? Will your wife stay home with the children? — will be made for you because of finances.
What about the wife being the main provider? That’s a concept so foreign to Driscoll, he doesn’t even consider it an option. He then advises “Tim” to find a financial advisor with a nice pair of testicles:
If you have not done so already, you need to ask some other men for counsel on your particular case. If you have a wise father, ask him for counsel. If your girlfriend or fiancée has a wise father, ask him for counsel. If you know a godly older man, with a good marriage and family, who is a good financial steward, meet with him respectfully and ask him for counsel.
There’s an underlying belief here that equates employment with masculinity in a way that should offend men who are unemployed through no fault of their own… and pretty much all women.
I’m sure you all have suggestions for Tim, so I’ll just leave him with this: Listening to Mark Driscoll is only going to make your problems worse. For your future wife’s sake, find better advice.