Benjamin Palmer – The Force of Love

Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Colossians 3:19

It is worthy of special notice that, in all the apostolic injunctions, the great duty enforced upon [the husband] is love. In addition to the testimony placed at the head of this chapter, the obligation is more fully expounded in the epistle to the Ephesians: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself…For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church…Let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself” (Eph 5:25, 28-29, 33).

But is not love as much the duty of the wife? Nay, in our philosophy, we would presume to say that it chiefly falls upon her to be the exponent of its mighty power. It is with some surprise that we find it set home upon the conscience of the husband as his paramount obligation, and we cannot rest until we discover the ground of this discrimination…The command to love is clearly designed to comprehend the entire office of the husband with its distinct functions. Are we able to trace the wisdom of the word?

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