The Husband’s Responsibility for the Wife

One of the most difficult things for modern men to understand is how they are responsible for their wives. Men come into a … counseling session with the assumption that “She has her problems, and I have mine,” and the counselor is here to help us split the difference. But the husband is responsible for all the problems. This is the case for no other reason than that he is the husband.

This does not mean the wife has no personal responsibilities as an individual before God. She certainly does, just as her husband has individual responsibilities. They are both private persons who stand before God. But he remains the head, just as Christ as the Head assumed all the responsibility for all the sins of all His people, so the husband is to assume covenant responsibility for the state of his marriage. If a husband says he objects to this because it is not fair to him to be held responsible for the failings of another, he is really saying he objects to the gospel. It was not “fair” for Christ to assume responsibility for our sins either. But while it may not have been fair as we define it, it was nevertheless just and merciful.

Douglas Wilson
Federal Husband (1999), page 12

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