A true righteous and godly home is the most loving and joyous place on planet earth since the Garden of Eden but it is a matter of choice and not by chance. There is that English adage that says as you lay your bed so you will lie on it. Both husband and wife have a part to perform if they will have God’s choicest blessings by standing in their place and doing their God assigned matrimonial duty faithfully.
The happy home grows out of a union of hearts and hands toward one another with ultimate aim of having a cherished and precious life together. One person alone may do much, but no one can do all that is required; both must work together in harmony for God looks for such where unity of life and purpose reigns to commands His blessings [Psalms 133].
“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endures forever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God” 2 Chron. 5:13-14
The best is only when there is compassionate and harmonious blending together, like the different parts of music coming together there the glory of God fills the place. When either husband or wife fails, there is discord and loss. Complete performance of action, vows or duties between husband and wife is a necessity in any well-ordered home. Perfect confidence, trust and affection must exist between them both. When both draws apart, it is an invitation to the adversity to cause anarchy especially when they let the sun go down on their wrath.
To make the home the happiest and most peaceful place in the world, each must give their very best to it, better than they do to society, on their vocation or business, not to outside intimates. To the family circle, must the choicest good conduct and willingness to make things work be brought from all the fields of life, as the bee brings to his hive, and not elsewhere, honey from all the sweetest flowers.
The husband has an important sphere, so does the wife. The more he gives to the home, the more it will give or yield to him. The more he is to it, the more it will be to him and to the world. His dividend will be in proportion to his investment. Some complain that their home joys are meager. Let them remember how mean and sparingly have been their contributions to its betterment. They cannot reap where they do not sow. If they will reap good, they must make the home a source of perennial comfort to themselves, and the means of blessing to many.
Matrimonial homes should be a bright guiding light in this world’s night. The word “husband” means a house-band; a band of strength around the home, upholding, protecting, and keeping it together. The home was the first institution God made. The husband, as the head of the home, stands at the beginning of all the worthiest elements of the community and in the household he must plants the seeds of Christ likeness for the Church but more important for the neighbors to see and emulate his chaste conduct. The family is the spring-head of the nation, the source of its purest spiritual and civil life. It is plain what manner of man the husband ought to be holy, righteous, gentle, meek, loving and caring. The husband in the model home must love his wife in obedience to scripture “Husbands love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” These are strong words—Bible words.
The Bible is the marriage ring and the spring board of laying foundation of their home. Marriage begins in love. It must continue and end in love. The husband must see that the early, tender affection never fails; that the gentle tone of life’s morning does not grow harsh. He must love the wife down through old age, and on through fading youthful beauty, to the sunset years, with a love that makes wrinkles beautiful, and infirmities seem precious. Tell her how much you love her still. Tell it more and more, as the years go on.
The husband must never allow the white roses of affection to fade on his lips, and his mouth to grow dumb. A cold silence is a mildew. Some wives would be surprised to hear expressions of compliments or kind words from their husbands now because it ceased long, long ago but it is not too late to resurrect every good conduct needed in the home to make fragrance of love blossom once more.
Let the husband show his love by his presence, not leaving her, always in the club, sports arena or lounging in front of television watching his favorite program excluding her; or deserting the home the long evening through, when his wife was desperately desiring his presence, soothing words and gentle touch.
Let the husband cherish his wife, and appreciate what she does, causing her to feel that he sees and esteems her service. Let “I am sorry, I appreciate you, thank you” not be found wanting in his mouth. Let little attentions never cease, nor delicate thoughtfulness for her welfare. Let the husband shelter his wife under his strong arm, and smooth her path. Let him protect her and stand by her in her cares and trials, and know that she will never look to him in vain. Let him provide for her reasonable wants, that she come not into embarrassment, and feel that he demeans her. Ill temper and hasty words on his part—these are not for the happy home.
Some husbands seem to be more considerate of their cars and dogs more than of their wives, but many a husband is a mule. The true husband will be mindful of his wife’s good, and not indifferent to her, for in his smile she lives, and in his frown is chill. A husband’s love is the sunshine of the wife. It brings out her beauty of soul and sustains her in her deeper needs. Selfishness and disregard to the interests and happiness of the wife is bad, such men plant his own self in the center, and absorbs every good thing in one’s own greed, the wife drudging and denying herself for her husband, as the slave for his lord—running to serve his every whim; this is not found on heathen ground alone but in many Christian homes.
Genuine love casts out selfishness, and softens the heart. Love makes the heart generous and self-denying for all others’ sake. Husbands, love your wives. These are some of the benefits that flow out of domestic love, and in proportion as this love ceases these benefits fail. Let the husband honor his wife. Peter says, “Ye husbands, give honor unto the wife, as being joint heirs of the grace of life.” Honor her by caring for her needs. In the hard places of life, stand by her side, and give her true sympathy and support. When children are ill, and burdens press, let her feel that she has a stronghold in you, and give her your comfort. Because she is your wife, you owe her what, without you, she can never have.
Bland and polite are some men to guests and outsiders, while in their homes they are domineering and exacting, finding fault with the wife, and criticizing her before the children, blaming her for the mishaps, with seldom a kind word. Honor her by sharing your joys with her, as she shares all your cares, taking on herself in the family the heaviest part. Allow her to be with you when she can, to go with you when she may, and to enter into your life. Do not add to her crosses by leaving her to doubt you. Do not lay up food for sad reflection when death comes, and plant thorns in your pillow against that hour.
The time to love, honor, and help her, is when these things are needed. When death has entered, and plucked the lilies from her cheek, it will be too late then to lighten her lot, or speak her praises. Honor her by taking her into counsel with you. She will be wise with a true woman’s wisdom. Insight and intuition are her gift, and she will give her husband her best thought, and be happy that it is sought.
In all the affairs of life, a true woman’s judgment has its uses. Many a man has failed for want of it. The counsel at his elbow would have saved him had he sought it. Thus honoring her, she will be made strong. Then, if he takes her into counsel, and honors her in his successes, when failures and reverses come, and trouble and misfortune sweep over them, as they do sometimes over the best and most prosperous, she will, in turn, grandly stand by him and become his polar star, enduring every hardship for his sake with sweet and abiding cheerfulness and courage, never breathing a murmur of complaint. Be worthy of her, and you will find she will be worthy of you. Your lives will develop together.
Let the husband be faithful and true to his wife. The evils that I have been speaking of are the little foxes that spoil the vines. But intemperance and infidelity are some of the wolves that destroy the home. Men must maintain the law of purity as equally binding on men and women. Both husband and wife must use every means to fulfilL the sacred command, ‘Keep thyself pure.’ ” If the wife be led into sin, she is denounced and cast off as a thing unclean, with little effort for her reform; yet through all the husband’s excesses and untruth to her, and drunkenness and dishonor, she clings to him, pleading and toiling to draw him back into the true path.
How the husband owes it to such a being [his wife] to keep his marriage vows in all fidelity and truth! I have spoken of the little foxes and the wolves of the home. The parasite of wedded life is where an alien comes in between husband and wife, under sanction and authority of the husband, and frets, almost to breaking, the marriage tie, and sucks out the pure joys of connubial life, this could be a mother in law, brother, sister or friend appearing like a saint but a demon incarnate.
Every husband should be a Christian in heart and life, and unite with the wife in faith and prayer and the service of God. He should join with her in the training of the children for usefulness here and for heaven hereafter. The husband should not let the wife pray alone. The whole household needs it. He should not allow her to go alone to church. He requires it as much as she. He should be with her at the communion table.
Above all, he should not leave to her the Christian education of the children. Alone in this, the wife is a bird with one wing. It is a great wrong to the wife, to put all these trying and difficult duties on her, when God lays them equally on him. Some of the most important ones can only be done by him. Others require their united Christian effort, the closest conference of Christian hearts.
A married couple can never be truly one, in the greatest and profoundest interests of life, until both are Christians. The most sacred and blessed side of the soul, that bordering on eternity, they cannot walk together in, until they together know the Lord. How many times does a mother’s heart ache for the aid a Christian father could give to her, when perplexed in the household, when things are at cross purposes, and the load seems heavier than she can bear!
How barren, after all, is wedded joy, to live together on earth, and for earth only, without the bright hope of dwelling together in eternity, meeting there, never more to part! That home cannot be happiest which looks for no reunion in heaven. The happiest home is always the Christian home, where husband and wife are one at the family altar, as one in interests and affection
# Word of God made me a better husband and father