In What World is This Good Parenting Advice?

In one of his recent sermons, Pastor Mark Driscoll offered advice to fathers in part drawn from a book he wrote (PDF) a couple of years ago.

That book includes wonderful nuggets of wisdom like this one:

Furthermore, throughout proverbs (e.g., chapters 2, 5, and 7) the father also speaks very frankly to his son about hot women with necklines that plunge down to hell. Rather than encouraging porn, the wise father encourages his son who is not built for abstinence to get married young and enjoy his wife’s body. The wise father knows that the ultimate goal for his son is a faithful marriage, and so he encourages his son’s sexual desires toward marriage.

Don’t watch porn, son. If you want sex, just get married quickly. That’ll solve alllllll your sexual frustration problems.

Father of the year, right there.

But what if your child has sex? First, make sure it’s with a Christian; after that, you might as well kill yourself because you’re a horrible parent:

One of the dumbest conversations I’ve ever had on this topic was with a pastor. He asked me to pray for his teenage daughter, who claimed to be a Christian but was dating and having sex with a non-Christian teenage boy. I asked him what specifically i should pray for — that God would give him a steady trigger finger? He told me that he had never told her not to have sex because she was an adult, and he did not want to pry into her personal life. I told the man that I would not pray that god would give his daughter wisdom, because God had already given that wisdom to her father, who did not lovingly dispense it to his daughter, and that he was a wicked man who apparently hated his daughter and was a coward unfit for the pastorate.

This guy’s gotta be fun to have at parties.

Oh, and don’t even think about staying at home while your wife works. Driscoll is having none of that:

Furthermore, it is completely impossible to read the Bible and wind up with the inane idea that a Christian father can be a stay-at-home dad while mom goes to work. Anyone who thinks these things are acceptable is by definition worldly.

No, not worldly! It’s not enough to be a working father, either. You have to be a better father than those other fathers: “If you want to be a godly man who provides for his wife and children, you will need to out-work and out-earn other men.”

Somehow, this is what passes for healthy parenting in Driscoll’s world. Control every aspect of your kids’ lives, be an alpha-male in everything you do, and make sure your wife doesn’t take over the roles that Driscoll has in mind for you.

Anything less and you’re failure at life. Or perfectly normal. One or the other.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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