Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I was man A, but want to be B

My previous post about whether men should aim to be man A (saving for a family) or B (investing in the Kingdom) led to some discussion, which is great.

I find it interesting that Jennifer says she's snatch up man A, were he to come along (and were she single). Yes, she thinks man B might be more ideal, but man A is a great real-world catch.

It's also interesting that I was quite a bit like man A when Jennifer and I got together. As she said in her "Meet the Mrs." post, "When we married, [my husband] used his savings to pay off the ~$2000 debt on my first credit card."

When I proposed to her, I had a 5-year financial plan worked out detailing how two college students could afford to get married. I had even calculated how much money I would need to earn per year in order for her to be a stay-at-home-mom and for us to participate in our state's pre-paid college program for our future children. I hadn't thought much about it till now, but I was what Mark Driscoll would call, "a dude's dude." We bought our first house at the age of 23 and had credit scores above 800 by the age of 29. As I said in my "Meet the Mr." post, "I once took great pride in my financial self-determination."

I guess the point of this blog for me is trying to work out how I could get from being man A to being man B. See, there's nothing obviously wrong with man A. He is (I was) a good catch in today's world. But, there's also nothing obviously Christian about man A either. Is there any reason man A couldn't be a good, conservative Jew or Muslim? If you take out the part about praying to God, he could even be a conservative atheist.

Man B, however, is not using his money to build a good, conservative, family-oriented life, though such things have value. He's using his money to advance the Kingdom. As John Piper has said:

Only one life.
It will soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ
will last.


  1. I think the issue is more complex than just "man A" and "man B."

    I don't fit into either of your defined categories, but I am doing my best to be as radically obedient as I can to God's call on my life. That has put me in a place where financial security is not something I can realistically secure for myself, I will never own my own house and 'retirement' will probably not be a reality until it's medically necessary - and I'm okay with that.

    I do think that my path is not for everyone though. For some, their radical obedience is to be in a financial position that they can support people like myself. They are not any less "wartime" because they live in America and own the house they live in, it's just the place God has put them.

    I think we need to focus on being obedient to God's call in our lives and not try to deem one lifestyle as more 'spiritual' or 'wartime' as another.

    Oh, and the reason I decided to comment - I disagree COMPLETELY that 'man B' is not building a family-oriented life! Maybe not the American idea of 'family-oriented' - but I think it's wrong to think radical obedience means you devalue your family in any way at all. I actually think the opposite - being obedient, to the point of sacrifice - true sacrifice - is the best thing you can do for your family. It's the most 'family-oriented' thing a Godly man can do. It's not all about money.

    my two cents.

  2. I also don't think owning a home in America is un-wartime. In some ways, it can be extremely wartime.

    I know a minister who moved into inner-city New Orleans in order to start a ministry. He bought a house there in order to demonstrate his commitment to being in the community.

    Also, wartime living in about good stewardship, and home ownership--especially in America--can be a great act of stewardship since there are tax breaks and the chance to build equity. If someone is able to live in one house for decades, the relative cost of the mortgage will become cheaper and cheaper, allowing them more disposable income for ministry.

    I'd be interested to hear more about your thoughts on man B and family. I don't think I disagree, but I'm curious how you would define "family-oriented"? What should Christians use to determine whether we're being family-oriented?

    Thanks for the comment.


We intend this blog to be a discussion about wartime living, so we always welcome your thoughts.