Monday, July 18, 2011

The Duties of Marriage

A quote by Puritan Richard Baxter from A Christian Directory, cited by J.I. Packer in A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life.

“I pray you, next tell me my duty to my wife and hers to me.

The common duty of husband and wife is,

1. Entirely to love each other; and therefore choose one that is truly lovely…; and avoid all things that tend to quench your love.

2. To dwell together, and enjoy each other, and faithfully join as helpers in the education of their children, the government of the family, and the management of their worldly business.

3. Especially to be helpers of each other’s salvation: to stir up each other to faith, love, and obedience, and good works: to warn and help each other against sin, and all temptations; to join in God’s worship in the family, and in private: to prepare each other for the approach of death, and comfort each other in the hopes of life eternal.

4. To avoid all dissensions, and to bear with those infirmities in each other which you cannot cure: to assuage, and not provoke, unruly passions; and, in lawful things, to please each other.

5. To keep conjugal chastity and fidelity, and to avoid all unseemly and immodest carriage [conduct] with another, which may stir up jealousy; and yet to avoid all jealousy which is unjust.

6. To help one another to bear their burdens (and not by impatience to make them greater). In poverty, crosses, sickness, dangers, to comfort and support each other. And to be delightful companions in holy love, and heavenly hopes and duties, when all other outward comforts fail.”

A special Happy Anniversary to my sister and brother-in-law on their five year anniversary!

And a happy birthday to my own beloved…


Trisha said...

I love Baxter's A Christian Directory. So packed with amazing wisdom about what seems like almost everything. :) This list is beautifully inspiring!

Tony C said...

I've got a few to add, but this is a Rated E for Everyone kinda blog.

Just kidding! Very inspirational list.

Tracy said...

This is delightful, I'm so glad you posted it! I adore the way it says "to bear with those infirmities in each other which you cannot cure"; my husband John always says that we have to give each other a lot of grace, just like God gives us.