02 (February 2014)

Building a Godly Home

Paul Relf Paul Relf is Pastor at Enon Baptist Church, Chatham.
01 February, 2014 1 min read

Building a godly home

William Gouge
Reformation Heritage Books, 196 pages
£11.18, ISBN: 978-1-60178-226-7
Star Rating : 3

This is a Puritan work (William Gouge lived from 1575 to 1653) edited and revised for the present edition. It is essentially an exposition of Ephesians 5:21 – 6:4 and covers not only teaching for parents and families, but also themes concerning the love of Christ for his church.

The chapters deal, in order, with the biblical verses and often use a question and answer and ‘objection’ method to clarify points made.

It is important to note that this is the first of three volumes to be published. So, if you were expecting a summary for family life in one volume, this may not be the book for you. It states that ‘detailed counsel’ will be found in the next two volumes, so one suspects that the more practical advice will be in subsequent volumes.

The early chapters cover such matters as serving each other in the fear of the Lord, the wife’s submission, husbands and the love of Christ.

The middle chapters, while having helpful spiritual observations, do not particularly relate to the book’s overall theme. For instance, one chapter based on Ephesians 5:26 has a long section on baptism which reflects the author’s paedobaptist views.

Also, because of the era this was written in, there are references to papists, Anabaptists and others, which may be difficult for the modern reader to relate to.

The later chapters move back to the theme of marriage and then, in considering Ephesians 6:1-4, cover the child’s duty to parents.

This is not easy reading for the average Christian parent. Yet, in expounding the text of Scripture, it provides helpful insights and principles for pastors, Bible teachers and those willing to spend time considering these verses in detail.

It also is a reminder that our living in the home and in family relationships, as in all areas, should come from the Bible’s teaching, rather than from our own ideas or from the non-Christian world around us.

Paul Relf
Chatham

Paul Relf is Pastor at Enon Baptist Church, Chatham.
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