The Husband: The House-Band

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The word husband is an old English compound word: house-band.

Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886), in his 1859 work On the Study of Words, provided for us the etymological roots of “husband”:

“Husband” is properly “house-band,” the band and bond of the house, who shall bind and hold it together (page 54).

What an impressive word, laden with such powerfully scriptural implications. As men, we dare not look to social, cultural or contemporary models as our guide for holding our homes together. None of these will suffice. We must devote ourselves to God and His Word for our guidance, for He is the author of our duty.

Being a husband can, at times, seem overwhelming, but as we look to God’s empowering grace we can have the strength to embrace the full implications of such a divine responsibility.

May God ever use this simple common word husband – spoken daily – increasingly to remind us husbands of our imperative role as house-band.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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