But towards the end Mohler offered his Christian appraisal of the cultural trend, saying:
- The Bible dignifies the loving preparation of food as one of the distinctive gifts of women. While cooking is not limited to women, throughout human history wives and mothers, sisters and daughters, have shown their love for and commitment to their loved ones through the careful preparation and celebration of food. When this is lost, something more than culinary knowledge is lost.
He may be thinking of Prov. 31:15, but if we are to take that as saying that all women should cook, then they (a) need to start their cooking the night before the food is served, and (b) need to be doing a whole lot more than just cooking (cf. vv. 13, 15, 16, 19, 22, 24). That is to say that whatever Prov. 31 is doing, it is not listing specific activities that make good wives. And beyond that I know of no other Biblical text that calls cooking a "gift" unique to woman.
Which means that Dr. Mohler is wrong: the Bible does not commend cooking as a woman's gift. It may be that women are seen cooking much more often than men in the Bible, but that is not the same as saying that women are gifted cooks and therefore should continue to cook today if they want to truly be Biblical. Women generally cooked in ancient cultures, so of course they are more regularly the cooks in the Bible.
And here's why I bring it up: complementarians have a tendency to exaggerate the Biblical prescriptions for male and female roles. Put another way, biblical complementarianism does not commend every attitude or activity associated with traditional male/female role distinctions.
But Dr. Mohler has done exactly that (i.e. appeal primarily to traditional rather than biblical role distinctions) in the quote above: after saying that the Bible dignifies women as the gifted cooks (again, with no Biblical citation to back the point), he immediately shows that women have historically been the cooks. True, but that doesn't mean that it is biblical!
A woman can submit to her husband as Eph. 5:20-32 commands without being the primary cook, or for that matter, the one who cleans the house, home schools children, and so on. These are traditionally female roles, but not biblically mandated ones. I don't even know of a passage that dictates that husbands should be the primary bread winners (gasp!).
Some Christian families will inevitably look more traditional in the sense described above, and I am not suggesting that they are being unbiblical by doing so. What I am suggesting is that the Bible is silent on some of these issues, despite some broad claims to the contrary.
My own wife hates cleaning (so we share it), has less time to cook when school is in session than I do (she's a teacher), makes more money than me (I'm an associate pastor at a small church), and we don't plan on homeschooling.
And I for one don't think the Bible gives any reason to change any of that.