Federal Husband is
a short yet powerful defense against the modern trend that seeks to erase the
distinguishing characteristics between men and women particularly as it relates
to the God ordained roles assigned to men husbands and fathers. While
there are many good works that review and reinforce the Godly role of women,
there are few written for today’s man that isn’t swayed by today’s
accepted egalitarian feministic presuppositions from the start. Federal
Husband represents a trend of exceptions with works being produced by men
who have a vision to restore the standards of biblical manhood.
first question that may come to mind is, "Just what is a federal
husband?" According to Wilson,
such a question is the product of a Christian faith that has lost its way:
" …it is not too much to say that this federal thinking is the
backbone of historic Protestant orthodoxy.
This brings to mind a distinction between classical Protestant theology
and modern evangelical thinking: modern evangelicalism doesn't think and doesn't
have a backbone. Because
contemporary evangelical theology doesn't have a backbone, modern Christian men
who are taught in terms of it find themselves without backbone also.
And books like this one become necessary." (Page 9,10)
asserts that God's created order of social structure has been so minimized by
modern teaching within and without the Church that we no longer think of
ourselves as connected to anything or anyone - only our own individual autonomy.
Thus we assume no responsibility for anyone else, we submit to authority
only as long as we agree with the authority or as long as the authority has the
power to restrict our freedom, and we assume the position of victim when we fail
to get what we think we deserve. The
fruit of such thinking is betrayed by popular child control techniques, the
acceptance of no fault divorces, and the impotence of the Church to hold her
constituents to any standard of ethical behavior.
converse of this type of thinking is historic Protestant orthodoxy that
understands all of reality in terms of connectivity.
This connectivity is expressed in terms of covenant relationships
throughout the Bible. "The
reason we must consider all this in a book on marriage and family is that God's
dealings with His people throughout history (which are always covenantal) are
set before us in the New Testament as the pattern for husbands to follow.
The doctrine of male headship in marriage is set down for us in Scripture
in a way which relates the whole thing to a right understand of the divine
covenantal order…" (Page 15)
divine covenantal order of connectivity requires those ordained within the order
to assume the responsibility of their ordained position. In short order, that translates to mean that as Christ
assumed the responsibility for the sins of His people husbands are to come to
grips with the responsibility for the actions and state of affairs of that which
they have been ordained the head of: their wife and family.
That doesn't mean the husband is necessarily guilty (though most likely
he at least shares some guilt); Christ was not guilty of our sins.
But it does mean that the husband is called to step up to the plate and
assume the responsibility and consequences of his family.
proper understanding also excludes the blame game.
A husband can no more blame his wife for the state of their marriage than
a thief can blame his hands. As
Christ assumed responsibility for things He didn't do, so husbands should be
willing to do the same for their wives."
assuming responsibility is not for the purpose of condemnation or frustration
but, rather, to liberate the man of the house to function as God has so designed
him to function. It is a call of
responsibility for the purpose of taking action. Thus Wilson identifies the actions a husband must take in
order to comply with the duty to love his wife as Christ loved the Church.
First, there are many areas of his personal thinking and habit that must
be re-evaluated in light of scripture. Second,
he must re-evaluate his position and responses to society in general.
Third, he must re-evaluate his thinking and habit of rearing his
his analysis of these three life and relational skills, Wilson illustrates the
degradation of personal and social ethics when the Christian worldview is
expressed in terms of individual autonomy rather than that of covenant
community. For example,
fundamentalist become fundamentalist when faced with decisions such as a man's
hair length or a woman's dress length apart from applying the scriptures in the
context of covenant community (page 40ff); the current mania for self-mutilation
and piercing that reflects the disdain for the mark of covenant community -
baptism (page 48); issues of work, wealth, sensuality, laziness, and financial
entanglements, (page 50ff); the problem of the "masculinist
egalitarians" (page 62); the gods of synthesis (page 71); women in combat
(page 77); and fatherhood (page 83ff).
summary, Wilson states, "Christ embraced His bride covenantally, and
husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church.
My point has been to show that this means that our theology of Christ's
love will determine how we love our wives.
If a man's theology is truly biblical and thus federal, then he will
indeed love his wife as Christ loves the Church…"
Husband is a
primer for the biblical model of a man's responsibility to his wife that calls
him not to abdication or complacency but to action and leadership.
It is a book that will challenge the way you perceive yourself, your role
as a man, and the issues of our society that face your family and our nation.
I can think of no better source of New Year Resolutions.