Book Plunge: The Toxic War On Masculinity Part 8

How can fathers work and be Dads both? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Going forward, Pearcey reminds us what the past was like.

In the colonial period, men were integral as actively engaged fathers and leaders of virtue. The family worked together daily in a family industry. . . . During the Industrial Age, this dynamic changed. Women became responsible for “civilizing” men (which led to the destructive mindset that excused and perhaps expected crude behavior from men). . . . The family dynamic became disjointed.

Pearcey, Nancy. The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes (p. 211). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Nowadays, a lot of men sacrifice time with their family for their work. Why? They’re the breadwinner. They have to provide. They want their children to be able to go to any college they want and give as much as they can.

Problem is, a lot of these children want their Dads more than that.

Fortunately, some businesses are realizing this.

After her article went viral, Anne-Marie Slaughter gave a TED talk saying, If you work for me and you have a family issue, I expect you to attend to it. . . . I am confident, and my confidence has always been borne out, that the work will get done, and done better. Workers who have a reason to get home to care for their children or their family members are more focused, more efficient, more results-focused.

Pearcey, Nancy. The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes (pp. 213-214). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Imagine that. Workers who get to spend time with their families and work out issues can actually work better. Could it be that if a job leaves a man thinking he’s being taken away from his family, that he will resent it? Could it be if he resents it, he won’t be as productive?

Not only that, if you can learn how to manage a family, you will usually be better on your job. In a hilarious statement she says,

Research has “determined that parents tend to excel at skills such as negotiating, compromising, multitasking, and patience. If you can resolve conflict with a three-year-old, you can almost certainly manage a group of adults.”

Pearcey, Nancy. The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes (p. 214). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

And research again shows that more families want more time together instead of more money together.

When Peggy Orenstein interviewed couples on their work-family balance for her bestselling book Flux, she found that the most satisfied couples were those who limited their work commitments: “The husbands had flexible jobs, worked regular hours [no overtime], or were self-employed.” Orenstein found that men who adopted these strategies often received fewer promotions and took a salary hit—the Daddy Penalty. But they said the payoff was worth it, namely, “a closer relationship to their children.” When asked, 70 percent of fathers say they would prefer more time with their family, even if that meant earning less. In a separate study, the same number of wives—70 percent—say they would prefer more time with their husband over a higher paycheck. A man who is slaving away at work for the sake of his family may be surprised to learn that his family would prefer his time and presence instead of fancier cars, nicer vacations, and designer clothes.

Pearcey, Nancy. The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes (p. 215). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

This is shown more and more throughout the chapter. Shorter work weeks even lead to more productive workers. Men. It might be better for your family if you can work part-time. Fortunately, one good thing Covid did is show many of us that is possible. I know many people who supplement their income doing work on YouTube so they can be with their family. I have a gamer on YouTube I watch frequently who talks often about spending time with his children and playing the games he got to play with his parents.

The guy is doing it right.

I have often said this about ministry. When I was married, I made it a priority to have my wife with me as much as possible, even when many speakers didn’t share that mindset. For me, family was more important. As Pearcey says:

One of my students attends a church where the senior pastor repeatedly tells his congregation, “I refuse to have a ‘successful’ ministry and a broken family.”

Pearcey, Nancy. The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes (p. 223). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Several people can do a job. Only one person can be a husband to your wife and a father to your children.

Choose which is more important.

Well, this all sounds noble, but still, men can imbibe a secular mindset. What then?

Next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)



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