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Wednesday, June 20, 2007 

Anniversary Week, Part 3

So, tomorrow is the big day. In the Small Catechism, Dr. Luther, under the table of duties reminds husbands:

Ye husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered. 1 Pet. 3, 7. And be not bitter against them. Col. 3:19.

Why would he write such a statement? Well, he clearly had Saint Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians in mind:

Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body."

If husbands are to honor their wives as Christ honors His bride, the Church, that is an awesome responsibility. For we, (husbands) are not being exhorted to love our wives but honor them, a much greater task. We all know we are to love our neighbors and those around us. But what does honor mean? In his explanation of the forth commandment Dr. Luther defines honor this way;

For it is a far higher thing to honor than to love one, inasmuch as it comprehends not only love, but also modesty, humility, and deference as to a majesty there hidden, and requires not only that they be addressed kindly and with reverence, but, most of all, that both in heart and with the body we so act as to show that we esteem them very highly, and that, next to God, we regard them as the very highest. For one whom we are to honor from the heart we must truly regard as high and great. LC Part1,106-107.

So we see honoring one’s wife is rated a little higher than just loving one’s wife. The Apology (defense) of the Augsburg Confession says this concerning marriage:

But ye shall reply in order to these figments. In the first place, it is necessary for the adversaries to acknowledge this, namely, that in believers marriage is pure because it has been sanctified by the Word of God, i.e., it is a matter that is permitted and approved by the Word of God, as Scripture abundantly testifies. For Christ calls marriage a divine union, when He says, Matt. 19, 6: What God hath joined together [let not man put asunder. Here Christ says that married people are joined together by God. Accordingly, it is a pure, holy, noble, praiseworthy work of God]. And Paul says of marriage, of meats and similar things, 1 Tim. 4, 5: It is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer, i.e., by the Word, by which consciences become certain that God approves; and by prayer, i.e., by faith, which uses it with thanksgiving AP XXIII,28-30.

In the past fifteen years I’ve tried to both honor and love my wife and for the most part I’ve done ok. But at the end of the day I know I always fall short of any law or commandment. Thankfully, I’m forgiven for that by my Lord being nailed to the cursed tree in my place as all of humanity’s propitiation. And thankfully, last time I chatted with the missus (I’m out of town this week) she forgives me for being me and is willing to spend another fifteen years with her husband. Thankfully! Luv ya missus!

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  • From The Haut South
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