Sunday, October 23, 2011

Direct V. by Richard Baxter

Direct. V

The husband is to excel the wife in knowledge, and be her teacher in the matters that belong to salvation. He must instruct her in the word of God, and direct her in particular duties, and help her to subdue her own corruptions, and labor to confirm her against temptations; if she doubt of any thing that he can resolve her in, she is to ask his resolution, and he to open to her at home the things which she understood not in the congregation, 1 Cor. xiv. 35. But if the husband be indeed an ignorant sot, or have made himself unable to instruct his wife, she is not bound to ask him in vain, to teach her that which he understands not himself. Those husbands that despise the word of God, and live in willful ignorance, do not only despise their own souls, but their families also; and making themselves unable for their duties, they are usually themselves despised by their inferiors: for God hath told such in his message to Eli, 1 Sam. ii. 30, “Them that honor me, I will honor; and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”

Excerpted from Chapter VIII. of this English Puritan’s manual on family life, “Christian Economics,” found in his book A Christian Directory which was first printed in 1673 and reprinted by Soli Deo Gloria in 1990.