Too Much Theology
I was cleaning the house today and thinking theological thoughts. Most of my Christian friends would applaud the thinking of such things. Many of them, however, would be concerned that I was cleaning the house. The latter are my friends who have convinced themselves that the Bible teaches that there are “gender roles” for my wife and myself and that, in cleaning, I was intruding on one of her gender roles.
These folks talk of “hardwiring”, the idea that men are created by God to do certain things and women to do other things. They take this idea into their home lives and divide the roles and tasks done according to gender. They also want me to follow their plan.
Because it is hard to pull out of the Bible specific verses teaching us who should dust the furniture or put gas in the car they need to resort to “application” to decide such matters. While it appears to me that, in doing these micro-applications, they sound more like the Pharisees than they do Jesus I generally say nothing to them and go right on dusting.
Of course, there are others who follow a theology that is somewhat different. Because they are sure the Bible teaches mutual respect and submission they tell me that all such tasks should be shared equally. They feel the need to keep some kind of balance sheet to be sure we share the tasks of running our home 50-50.
There may indeed be a logical reason for my wife doing the house cleaning, namely that she is better at it than I am. Frankly I am doing it because I am home today and she is at work (Another no-no in some quarters) and we have a weekend coming up. I’d rather spend Good Friday and Easter doing stuff with Peggy than watching her clean the house.
I have a feeling that we’ve gone a little overboard on the idea of Biblical inerrancy. I accept that the Bible is inerrant in all it teaches but I am not sure it teaches us who cleans the bathroom. It may be true that, on average, women may be better housekeepers but I can’t be certain this has anything to do with hardwiring. The world has its share of Felix Ungers and we have a sweet female relative who could give Oscar Madison a run for his money in the Slob Olympics.
Maybe we are creating a little too much theology. Maybe Jesus doesn’t care how my wife and I divide the household tasks. Maybe part of grace is letting each family to do this in the way that suits them best.