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.
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.
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.
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