Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Masculine Mandate Chapter 8

Chapter 8 continues to look at men and marriage and how the mandate to work and keep is fleshed out here. Phillips begins by establishing the biblical weight for man's authority and responsibility to lead in the home, though not done extensively to convince those who questions such a premise it is a useful reminder.

Helpfully he moves on to explore 2 passages in the New Testament which focus on marriage; Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3. I found his emphasis on Paul's' command to believing husbands to "love your wives" helpful. A failure to do this is the root of problems - if we love our wives we will sacrificially lead them, to edify and encourage them, to build up her faith and hope in Christ. The believing husbands responsibility is to minister the gospels promises to his wife for her encouragement.

He then explores 1 Peter 3 drawing out 3 commands: live with your wife - not just in the same house, but in community with her. Pay attention to your wife - live with your wife according to knowledge - know what her dreams, fears, frustrations are, know what her day holds. And lastly show her honour - cherish her and show her that you cherish her (I gruff 'she knows' isn't good enough).

But I thought the best part of the chapter came near the end as he explores the 'keep' side of our mandate as it relates to marriage. We are to protect our wives as Christ gave himself for the church. That is not rocker science but I found his application of that a real help - we are to keep our wives safe even from ourselves and our own sin. He gives this quote "I came to realise the man I needed to kill in order to protect my wife is myself as a sinner." We must protect our wives from our own sinful heart that reveals itself in verbal abuse, anger, blaming her rather than taking responsibility, scorn and so on.

It is a chapter that I will be recommending to any future couples in marriage prep.

No comments: