The first time the dishes are not done, he must sit down with his wife immediately and gently remind her that this is something which has to be done. At no time may he lose his temper, badger her, call her names, etc. He must constantly remember and confess that she is not the problem, he is. By bringing this gently to her attention, he is not to be primarily pointing to her need to repent; rather, he is exhibiting the fruit of his repentance.
He does this, without rancor and without an accusative spirit, until she complies or rebels. If she complies, he must move up one step, now requiring that another of her duties be done. If she continues to rebel after patient effort, he should at some point call the elders of the church and ask them for a pastoral visit. When the government of the home has failed to such an extent and a godly and consistent attempt by the husband to restore the situation has broken down, then the involvement of the elders is fully appropriate.
Neglect of this truth is pervasive in the modern church. One of the most difficult things for modern men to understand is how they are responsible for their wives. Men come into a marriage pastoral counseling session with the assumption that “She has her problems,” and “I have mine,” and the counselor is here to help us split the difference. But the husband is responsible for all the problems. This is the case for no other reason than that he is the husband.
This does not mean that the wife has no personal responsibilities as an individual before God. She certainly does, just as her husband has individual responsibility. They are both private persons who stand before God. But he remains the head, and just as Christ as the head assumed all the responsibility for all the sins of all His people, so the husband is to assume covenant responsibility for the state of his marriage. If a husband says that he objects to this because it is not fair for him to be held responsible for the failings of another, he is really saying that he objects to the gospel. It was not “fair” for Christ to assume responsibility for our sins either. But while it may not have been fair as we define it, it was nevertheless just and merciful.
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While my heart breaks for the precious children, I could calmly face-shoot their abusive rapists, feeling nothing but recoil….then finish their sandwich. #KindnessIsNotWeakness pic.twitter.com/8OAHv21nKj
— Craig Sawyer 🌐 (@CraigRSawyer) January 3, 2018
Learn to hate every form of coercion that is not mandated by the Almighty God Himself. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Love liberty, and love it in every lawful form. Hate every suggestion that would — apart from an explicit requirement from the Creator — bind, restrict, limit, constrain, constrict, curb, inhibit, stifle, bridle, disallow, immure, compel, or deprive the lawful liberty of another. This is not done for the sake of an abstract idol called ‘individualism.’ It is nothing more complicated than love of neighbor. In this, our statist and despotic age, it is not possible to love your neighbor without also hating five-year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains. And hatred of coercion also includes every form of unjust warfare — hatred of ungodly compulsion is not limited in any way to domestic politics.