What husbands and wives owe each other

From the “Table of Duties” in Luther’s SMALL CATECHISM:
 

HUSBANDS
Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Colossians 3:19.
 
WIVES
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord…as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are as long as you do good and are not afraid with any terror. Ephesians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:6.

So wives love and serve their husbands by submitting to them, as to Christ; and husbands love and serve their wives by giving themselves up for their wives, as Christ did for the church.

It is surely easier for the wife to submit to her husband if he is giving himself up for her.

Notice that Christ is in marriage. And both husbands and wives bear a cross of self-sacrifice for the other.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Erich Heidenreich

    Dr. Veith, you wrote: "It is surely easier for the wife to submit to her husband if he is giving himself up for her."

    So I've heard … just as I have heard it is easier for the husband to give himself up for his wife if she is submitting to her husband.

    I'm not sure about the truth or value of either of these statements. However, I do know that it is precisely because we do not give ourselves up or submit as we should that Christ had to give Himself up for us and submit to His Father's wrath for us.

    We are not called to do these things as husbands and wives because our spouses merit them from us. We do not "owe" these things to each other, tit for tat. Rather, these are the unique vocational duties we are called to by God as husbands and wives, precisely because we don't deserve it.

  • Erich Heidenreich

    Dr. Veith, you wrote: "It is surely easier for the wife to submit to her husband if he is giving himself up for her."

    So I've heard … just as I have heard it is easier for the husband to give himself up for his wife if she is submitting to her husband.

    I'm not sure about the truth or value of either of these statements. However, I do know that it is precisely because we do not give ourselves up or submit as we should that Christ had to give Himself up for us and submit to His Father's wrath for us.

    We are not called to do these things as husbands and wives because our spouses merit them from us. We do not "owe" these things to each other, tit for tat. Rather, these are the unique vocational duties we are called to by God as husbands and wives, precisely because we don't deserve it.

  • Bruce Gee

    Great post, Erich. After nearly thirty-one years of marriage, I need to be reminded, over and over, of the truth of what you say. I keep thinking I merit something.

  • Bruce Gee

    Great post, Erich. After nearly thirty-one years of marriage, I need to be reminded, over and over, of the truth of what you say. I keep thinking I merit something.

  • LAJ

    Has anyone read "Love & Respect" by Eggerich?

  • LAJ

    Has anyone read "Love & Respect" by Eggerich?


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