Providentially, many Christian wives are married to unbelieving husbands. This is a great trial for them, especially if the man is very ungodly. Pastoral counseling discovers that many of these sisters in the Lord are perplexed about how God wants them to relate to their husbands in such a case. I have prepared this brief catechism for some guidance, suggesting that she 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 wives 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 husband is a godly man.
May the Lord use this simple catechism to bless His precious daughters 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 husband?
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 husband?
A4. That I love him with gracious gospel love, respect him for his position over me, and submit to him as unto the Lord.
Q5. What is gracious, gospel love for my husband?
A5. A supernatural love from Christ that is large, constant, and free, and that does my husband good and not evil all the days of his life.
Q6. What is respect for my husband?
A6. It is a conscious recognition of his special authority over me as my husband on the basis of God’s Word and the covenant I freely entered when I married him.
Q7. What does it mean to submit to my husband as unto the Lord?
A7. That I will cheerfully acquiesce to my husband in all things consistent with the revealed will of Christ, but no further, from a sincere desire to please my husband and Christ for my husband’s good and Christ’s glory.
Q8. Will there be cases when I must obey Christ rather than my husband?
A8. Yes, if ever my husband expects me to disobey any of Christ’s commands, but even then I must keep loving and respecting my husband as my husband while Christ always has my greatest love and loyalty.
Q9. What is the primary means by which I can influence my husband toward greater faith and obedience to God?
A9. Setting a good example before my husband, without a word of nagging or disrespectful rebuke.
Q10. Does this absolutely forbid addressing my husband about his responsibility for faith and duty as a man, a husband, and a father?
A10. No, but when it is right to address him about these things, I must speak the truth in love, with evident love and respect for him as my husband.
Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?
A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.
Q12. How good a wife am I to my husband?
A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.
Q13. How can I possibly love my husband so well, since he falls so short of the ideal husband, 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.