Note: I am continuing a Sunday afternoon series through the Baptist Catechism's exposition of the Ten Commandments. Last Sunday's message reflected on the wider implications of the fifth commandment including the duties of wives and husbands to one another. In so doing, I continued to lean heavily on Thomas Vincent's exposition of The Shorter Catechism. Below is a summary of Vincent's listing of seven duties each for wives and husbands:
Seven Duties of wives to husbands:
First: Love them above every other person in the world. In Titus 2:4 Paul told the older women to teach the younger women “to love their husbands.”
Second: Loyalty and faithfulness, in reference unto the bed and estate, and any secrets intrusted with them. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.”
Third: Reverence and fear of offending them. Ephesians 5:33: “Le the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Fourth: Subjection unto them in all things lawful under Christ. Compare Ephesians 5:22, 24.
Fifth: Care to please them, suiting themselves to their disposition, and all things to their liking. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:34: “She that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”
Sixth: Helping them to bear their burdens, and in making provision for their families. The ideal wife in Proverbs 31:27 is described as one “who looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
Seventh: Giving ear to, and complying with, the counsels of their husbands, if good, for their soul’s welfare; and endeavoring, with meekness and wisdom, with kindness and loving admonitions, and a chaste, sweet conversation, to win their husbands over to the ways of God, when they are wicked. He cites Peter’s words in 1 Peter 3:1-2.
Seven duties of husbands to wives:
First: Most endeared love to them, like unto the love of Christ to his church. Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.”
Second: Dwelling with them, and, according to knowledge, honoring them, and delighting in their company. He cites Genesis 2:24 about a man leaving his parent’s household and cleaving to his wife. Also, 1 Peter 3:7 which says, “Husbands dwell with them [wives] according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel.” And Proverbs 5:18 which enjoins husbands, “Rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”
Third: Tenderness towards them, and careful provision of food and raiment, and all things necessary for them, as for their own bodies. Ephesians 5:28-29: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.”
Fourth: Fidelity to them in keeping the marriage covenant, so as to forbear the use of any other besides themselves. He cites the prophet Hosea’s words to his wife: “Thou shalt not be for another man; so will I be also for thee” (Hosea 3:3).
Fifth: Protection of them from injuries, and covering their infirmities with the wings of love. He cites David’s care for his family (1 Samuel 30:18) and Peter’s admonition that charity or love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Sixth: Care to please them in all things lawful and fit, and praise of them when they do well. 1 Corinthians 7:33: “He that is married, careth for the things that are of the world, how he may pleaseth his wife.”
Seventh: Prayer with them and for them, counsel and admonition of them, and every way helping them, especially in reference to their souls walking with them in the ways and ordinances of the Lord. 1 Peter 3:7: “Ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
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