Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
There is a great deal of wisdom in Paul’s first letter to the church of God at Corinth that can be applied to all of a Christian’s life. I’ve found the passage about to serve as a helpful reminder of our responsibilities as a husband in a Christian Domestic Discipline marriage. We are exhorted to do five things:
The kind of watchfulness described in this verse is not merely keeping an eye on, the way that you’d be watchful of your tire pressure. The Greek word used is γρηγορέω, which means a state of continuous readiness and alertness. It is a type of watchfulness that is active, vigilant, and prepared to take action.
Such is the job of a husband in a Christian Domestic Discipline relationship. We must not be on autopilot – we must be actively engage in what is happening in our marriage, purposefully guiding it and taking action when it gets off track.
Stand Firm in the Faith
As a Christian husband, our authority in our marriage does not come from ourselves. We are in authority because we are under authority – the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. As 1 Corinthians 11 tells us, the head of a wife is her husband and the head of a husband is Christ.
We can only be as good a leader for our wives as we are a follower to our Lord. Time spent in the word and in prayer is essential for successfully fulfilling our duties.
Act Like Men
As counterculture as this may be to say, men and women are different. As men, the bible gives us specific commands that are for us, not our wives. We are to provide for our wives’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and lead our families well.
Men, we are to be leaders of our households. It’s no coincidence that the biblical qualifications for elders includes managing one’s own household well. This is not a responsibility that we can pawn off on our wife. We are accountable for leading well.
The strength referenced here isn’t merely physical strength. It’s a sort of resolve and resolute toughness that we see praised all throughout the book of Proverbs.
A CDD husband is firm when he must be. He protects his wife by establishing boundaries, and then applies correction when those boundaries are crossed. He recognizes the importance of following through, not allowing himself to be talked out of delivering discipline through pouting or pleading. He understands the bigger picture and his responsibility to see things through.
Let All That You Do Be Done In Love
If you read the secular world’s understanding of CDD, they always conveniently leave this part off. Christian Domestic Discipline is presented as a one sided affair where a husband barks orders and then spanks his wife for not saying, “Yes sir!”
The reality for the virtuous CDD husband is that sacrificial love for his wife leads all of his decisions. The rules that he establishes are not to enact his own preferences, but are rooted in what is best for his family. He doesn’t set rules that he himself will not follow. He puts her best interest first, and does everything out of love.