Providentially, many Christian husbands are married to unbelieving wives. This is a great trial for them, especially if the woman is very ungodly. Pastoral counseling discovers that many of these brothers in the Lord are not clear about how God wants them to relate to their wives in such a case. I have prepared this brief catechism for some guidance, suggesting that he should memorize it and find supporting Scripture references for its counsel, with careful study of those passages.
I am convinced that even though these are basic biblical truths, many Christian husbands would know more peace and confidence in their God-ordained role if they called them to mind every day for practical application in their marriages. Also, these truths should prove helpful even when the wife is a godly woman.
May the Lord use this simple catechism to bless His precious sons in difficult marriages.D. Scott Meadows, Pastor Calvary Baptist Church (Reformed) Exeter, New Hampshire USA http://cbcexeter.sermonaudio.com
Q1. What is the main point of my marriage to my wife?
A1. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever, the same point of my existence and all my circumstances.
Q2. Can my marriage ever be the source of true happiness to me?
A2. No, at best it can become an occasion of happiness, but all my joy is bound up and will remain forever in knowing God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and therefore my blessedness does not depend on the state of my marriage.
Q3. How can I glorify God and enjoy Him forever in my marriage?
A3. By trusting God implicitly and doing His will in all things because I love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Q4. What is the most important thing about how I relate to my wife?
A4. That I love her as Christ loves the church, living with her in an understanding way, with appropriate honor and respect for her.
Q5. What is Christ-like love for my wife?
A5. A supernatural love from Christ that makes me willing to give of myself for her good, seen and demonstrated in daily, practical acts, attitudes, and words of love.
Q6. What is it to live with my wife in an understanding way?
A6. It is to show her honor as the weaker vessel, being sensitive to her needs, fears, and feelings; to nourish and cherish her with the love and affection of Christ.
Q7. Does any failure on my wife’s part to fulfill her duty of respect to me as her husband relieve me of the duty to love her sacrificially?
A7. Never! Rather, it is a greater opportunity to show the grace and selflessness of such love.
Q8. Will there be cases when I must please Christ rather than my wife?
A8. Yes, if ever my wife expects me to neglect or disobey any of Christ’s commands, but even then I must keep loving and honoring her as my wife while Christ always has my greatest love and loyalty.
Q9. What are the primary means by which I can influence my wife toward greater faith and obedience to God?
A9. Teaching her the Word of God, praying for her, leading her with all love and humility in the way of righteousness, and setting a good example before her, without any bitterness in my heart or unkindness in my speech and conduct.
Q10. Does this absolutely forbid reproving my wife about her responsibility for faith and duty as a woman, a wife, and a mother?
A10. No, but when it is necessary to address her about these things, I must speak the truth in love, with all patient tenderness and affection for her as my wife.
Q11. How good a wife is my wife to me?
A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for her every day.
Q12. How good a husband am I to my wife?
A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my wife as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the Christ-like husband that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my wife.
Q13. How can I possibly love my wife so well, since she falls so short of the ideal wife, and I am such a sinful person?
A13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, even this, for I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. Also, I know that God has given me His Spirit and all-sufficient grace to help me to do all He requires of me.