Have you ever needed some detailed, practical counsel for your marriage? Have you ever wished someone would speak to the everyday matters that pop up in your marriage and family life? Have you ever heard sound teaching, but wished for more than broad theological principles? You needed someone to speak frankly. You wanted someone to show you exactly how the biblical principles applied in the real situations you are experiencing.
This six part video series is based on William Gouge’s classic work, “Domestical Duties,” using the edited and modernized version by Joel Beeke and Scott Brown. This series is designed to help husbands love their wives like Christ loved the church. We will be taking critical chapters in the book that are specifically directed to husbands.
In this second volume of the series, Building a Godly Home, William Gouge (1575–1653) does just that. His marriage counsel is focused on the everyday matters that husbands and wives experience while living together. The basis for his counsel to married couples, is his exposition of Ephesians 5:21–33, already presented in
Gouge delivers very detailed explanations of the various parts of the husband-wife relationship. He analyzes nearly every possible aspect of married life. You will be amazed at the probing detail with which he examines these matters. He exposes the minutest parts of marriage. Yet he does not lose sight of the big picture. He goes to the heart of the matter.
Husbands Who Love and Lead Their Wives
Christian leaders understand how important it is to win the consciences of people so that you are not pressuring them to act against what they believe is right, and the husband’s leadership in the home is no exception to this rule. What should a husband do when his wife’s conscience is against some lawful thing he wants her to do? What should a husband do when his wife feels a false fear or guilt about something good? What should a husband do if his wife is misapplying the Word of God? How should a husband correct his wife in a way that shows her love and honor?
Gouge addresses the centrality of love and compassion for a good husband, and discusses how love must fill and shape his use of authority. How does a husband stir up his wife’s love in the same way Christ wooed His church? How should a husband respond when he sees sin in his wife? How can he set her free to fulfill her responsibilities towards God and their family? Again, Gouge’s treatment gives the answers we need to the real questions we face.
Gouge shows concern that husbands not misuse their authority. They must not be harsh. They must not become too demanding in hospitality and the labors that go with it. They should make sure they are not being too suspicious or controlling. Their use of authority should not discourage their wives but encourage them.
Love speaks many languages, and Gouge calls the man to use them all, from a kind and cheerful facial expression to giving her special gifts. He strongly emphasizes the husband’s responsibility to provide for his wife’s financial needs. He urges men to show their wives tenderness and compassion when they are sick, especially when they face the travails of pregnancy and childbirth. At every turn, Gouge summons husbands to the high calling of loving their wives—as Christ did the church—with sacrificial, affectionate service.
William Gouge provides husbands and wives one of the most detailed and honest treatments of the husband and wife relationship ever written. He speaks from a solid biblical position and with a sweet spirit of love and mercy throughout. Though a bit antiquated at times, we trust that you will find this book extremely insightful and helpful. May the Lord send His Spirit with His truth, so that this book will be an effective instrument to transform many marriages, to the blessing of generations to come.
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