Charles Spurgeon – The Master’s Example

Husbands, love your wives. Ephesians 5:25

What a golden example Christ gives to His disciples! There are few masters who could venture to say, “If you would practice my teaching, imitate my life.” But the life of Jesus is the exact transcript of perfect virtue, and therefore He can point to Himself as the paragon of holiness, as well as the teacher of it.

The Christian should take nothing short of Christ for his model. Under no circumstances ought we to be content unless we reflect the grace that was in Christ Jesus. Even as a husband, which is a relationship that the Christian sustains in common with the rest of men, he is to look upon Christ Jesus as being set before him as the picture, and he is to paint according to that copy. Christ Himself being the bridegroom of the church, the true Christian is to seek to be such a husband as Christ was to His spouse…Let the Christian then aspire to be like unto his Lord, Who is the Author and Finisher of his faith. And let him, as he runs the heavenly race, look unto Jesus and make the Apostle and High Priest of his profession (Heb. 3:1) his continual study, and aim to be changed into His image from glory unto glory (2 Cor 3:18).

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Michael Boling – Time to Get Back to Reading

Books. Ever since I was a child, I have loved reading. With that said, there have been times when I have frankly been burnt out by reading. Perhaps it is due to changing reading interests, a busy schedule, or the pressure to keep up with the steady flow of review copies from publishers. I admit for what is likely a combination of those reasons, I took an extended break over the past few months from reading and doing book reviews. In fact, I cleaned out a good portion of my personal library. Much of what went bye-bye were titles I read once and knew I would not return to either as a resource or for a second go around. Some books while good and interesting are honestly only good for a once through read. Plus we needed the space in the basement for other things.

Lately, I have been feeling the reading bug biting once again. It is always a challenge when you have a backlog of books to read as to what to choose first. There is one non-theological title I have been slowly but surely reading on the subject of interracial baseball prior to the depression. One of my favorite baseball players, Bob Feller, is one of the subjects of this book. It has been quite the fascinating read thus far. This particular books seems like a good choice as any with which to pick up the pace with and complete here in the next week. If anything, that will afford some time to choose the next title. Maybe I will make it easy on myself and grab the next book in the stack o’ stuff. We shall see what happens. Once I decide on the next set of books, I will be sure to share what they are and why I selected those titles.

So back to reading I go and with it, likely a steady (or at least steadier) stream of book reviews and here is to hoping the reading bug turns into an infection, one I do not recover from for a bit.

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Tim Challies – The Duty of Devotion

B.B. Warfield has gone down in history as one of America’s great theologians, and for good reason. He was a bulwark of orthodoxy against the rising tide of liberalism. Even a century after his death, many of his works are as powerful and relevant as the day they were written. Yet while he is known for his keen intellect and profound theological insights, he was also a man of tender affection.

Soon after his marriage to Annie, the young couple journeyed to Europe together. During this trip, Annie underwent a terrifying experience that resulted in a kind of nervous trauma she was never able to overcome. She returned home an invalid whose condition continued to deteriorate for the rest of her life. Warfield responded to these tragic events by diligently committing himself to her care. For the duration of their marriage, he rarely left her side for more than a couple of hours at a time, and never for longer than necessary. A friend recalls, “I used to see them walking together and the gentleness of his manner was striking proof of the loving care with which he surrounded her. … During the years spent at Princeton, he rarely if ever was absent for any length of time.” Warfield was not only a great theologian but also a great husband.

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John Angell James – As Their Own Bodies

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Ephesians 5:28

man’s children are parts of himself; his wife is himself: “For they two shall be one flesh” (Eph 5:31). This is his duty and the measure of it too, which is so plain that, if he understands how he treats himself, there needs nothing be added concerning his demeanor towards her. For “what mighty care does he take of his body, and uses it with a delicate tenderness, and cares for it in all contingencies, and watches to keep it from all evils, and studies to make for it fair provisions, and is very often led by its inclinations and desires, and does never contradict its appetites but when they are evil, and then also not without some trouble and sorrow.” So, let a man love his wife as his own body.

Can it be necessary to apply the force of motives to produce an appropriate attention to such a duty? If so, I appeal to your sense of honor. Husbands, call to recollection the wakeful assiduities and the tender attentions by which you won the affection and the confidence of the woman, who forsook her father and her mother and the home of her childhood to find a resting place for her heart in your attachment. Will ye falsify the vows ye plighted and disappoint the hopes you raised?…That man has disgraced himself who furnishes just occasion to the partner of his days, to draw, with a sigh, a contrast between the affectionate attention she received as a lover and as a wife.

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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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Tim Challies – What’s the Purpose of…Marriage?

Today I am kicking off a new series of articles that is going to ask the simplest of questions: “What’s the purpose of…?” Though the question is simple, the answers can be difficult and even controversial. We’ll begin with the home: What’s the purpose of marriage? What’s the purpose of sex? What’s the purpose of children? Then we’ll turn to the church: What’s the purpose of the church and its pastors? What’s the purpose of the Lord’s Day and the Lord’s Supper? What’s the purpose of worship and baptism? These are questions that perplex many of those outside the church and just as many within. We will tackle these questions week by week, attempting to put to rest any lies and misconceptions and to bring to the light the divine truth. We begin with marriage.

What’s the Purpose of Marriage?

What’s the purpose of marriage? A brief search turns up a host of answers representing a multitude of worldviews. These answers reveal no end of confusion, but most perspectives can be summarized under two headings.

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D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Loving Your Wife as Yourself

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Ephesians 5:28

The husband must realize that his wife is a part of himself. He will not feel this instinctively; he has to be taught it, and the Bible in all its parts teaches it. In other words, the husband must understand that he and his wife are not two: they are one. The apostle keeps on repeating that: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself…They two shall be one flesh…We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Eph 5:28, 31, 30). That is all true of our relationship to the Lord; it is true also in this other relationship.

I would therefore put it in this way: it is not sufficient for us even to regard our wives as partners. They are partners, but they are more than partners. You can have two men in business who are partners, but that is not the analogy. The analogy goes higher than that. It is not a question of partnership, though it includes that idea. There is another phrase that is often used—at least, it used to be common — that puts it so much better and that seems to me to be an unconscious statement of the Christian teaching. It is the expression used by men when they refer to their wives as “my better half.” Now that is exactly right. She is not a partner; she is the other half of the man. “They two shall be one flesh.” “My better half.” The very word half puts the whole case that the apostle elaborates here. We are not dealing with two units, two entities, but dealing with two halves of one — “They two shall be one flesh.” Therefore, in the light of this, the husband must no longer think singly or individually. That should be quite impossible in marriage, says the apostle, because, “He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” He is in a sense not loving somebody else, he is loving himself. Such is the difference that marriage makes.

To continue reading D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ article, click here.

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Geoffrey Kirkland – Instruction and Parenting

Parents all understand Paul’s command to “bring the children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6.4). But sometimes we grow weary in teaching the same old truths on many occasions again and again. Solomon could relate. He said “Hear my son your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov 1:8). All through the Book of Proverbs, we receive many examples of Solomon pleading with his son to hear, listen to, heed, pay attention to, and receive His instruction. For instance, “my son, do not forget my teaching but let your heart keep my commandments” (Prov 3:1). This is a vital and unending part of parenting. As the children grow, we as parents must be deliberate in our teaching and instructing of their hearts. This not only takes place in the discipline room when they’re very small (with simple points of instruction) but as the child gets older, the physical spanking will decrease and the verbal instruction and biblical reasoning with the child will increase. When the child is so young that he cannot articulate or reason with you as the parent, discipline with the rod is the primary means of discipline when he has sinned. But as the child grows, verbal instruction, reasoning from the Scriptures, and helping the child see the desires that rule his heart that cause him to then choose to act, speak, or respond a certain way will then take priority in shepherding them toward Christ.

To continue reading Geoffrey Kirkland’s article, click here.

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John Angell James – As Christ Loved the Church

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:25

Observe the sublime and transcendently interesting1 fact that stands amidst the duties of domestic life, as stated by the apostle in the language quoted above, like the sun in the center of the planets — illuminating, impelling, and uniting them all. Every part of this most comprehensive and beautiful passage is inimitably striking. The design of the whole is to magnify Christ’s love to the church; [regarding] this, the moral condition of the church, previous to the transforming work of redeeming grace, is supposed to be that of loathsome impurity; yet, notwithstanding this, He exercises the most tender compassion for her welfare and is not repelled by excessive defilement.

To effect her redemption, [Jesus] does not merely employ the operations of His power and of His wisdom, but surrendered Himself into the hands of divine justice that, as a sacrifice of atonement, He might ransom the object of His regard at the price of His blood. [In this, He manifested] an affection stronger than death, and “which many waters cannot quench” (Song of Solomon 8:7). The ultimate design of this act of mysterious humiliation is to render her in some measure worthy of His regard and fit for that indissoluble union with Himself into which, as His illustrious bride, she was about to be received.

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Erik Raymond – 5 Marks of a Contented Heart

What are the characteristics of a contented heart? Contentment is often tough to pin down. In this post, I want to take an excerpt from my book Chasing Contentment to try to answer this common question by interacting with a trusted guide from the past.

Through the gospel, God lovingly accomplishes and applies redemption for people who have sought happiness in something other than him. Humanity has all turned aside and served the creation rather than the Creator. Instead of leaving us hungry and hurting in our rebellion, God acts. He pursues us. He comes after us. And to what end? It is so that through this gracious rescue we might find ourselves agreeing with him about his all-surpassing supremacy and sufficiency. Through the gospel, God makes himself our treasure. In other words, God makes us content in him.

To continue reading Erik Raymond’s article, click here.

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