Warrant for My Wife’s Happiness

At the end of this month, I will be taking a class called “The Christian Home.” We are required to read five books for the class, which will help us to shape a Christian worldview concerning marriage, sex, parenting, children, finances, social issues, etc. In my reading, a man quoted Deuteronomy 24:5: “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife who he has taken.”

I love reading Deuteronomy because it interprets, clarifies, and expands on much of the law’s theological content and meaning. I am not sure how many times I have read this text, but never did I observe the last portion: “and shall give happiness to his wife who he has taken.” Though there is some discontinuity to how this command to stay home for a year now functions under the New Covenant, the theological thrust for the home remains absolutely consistant with the remainder of Scripture’s testimony.

What beautiful happiness is known in the garden after the Lord created the woman for Adam (Gen 2:23-25). Wisdom testifies that the husband ought to delight himself in the wife of his youth (Prov 5:18-19). He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord (Prov 18:22). What is more, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word (Eph 5:25-26). Without doubt, Christ is about his bride’s happiness, in the very act of presenting the redeemed church to himself in all her glory (Eph 5:27). In Christ, in glory, she shall be forever happy (Rev 19:7-9; 21:9, 22-27; 22:5).

Along with the overarching testimony of the canon, these words from Deuteronomy give husbands biblical warrant to pursue the happiness of their wife. So, husbands, write this text upon your hearts, add this text to your ‘fighter’ verses, and tell your brothers who are married, so that together we might cultivate godly affections in our homes. For the glory of God and the testimony of Christ’s joy in his bride (the church) and her happiness in him, let us all be about the happiness of our wives. Guide her daily to savor Jesus Christ and be happy in her heavenly Father.


5 Responses to “Warrant for My Wife’s Happiness”

  1. billmeister16 Says:

    Where’s Ecclesiastes 9?

  2. Brandon Says:

    Yeah…definitely liking the connection between Christ pursuing the church’s happiness in himself and our mandate to pursue our wive’s happiness.

    You know, pursuing happiness in Jesus comes up everywhere. It came up in community group last night in reference to serving in the church. We asked the question, “What do we need to believe in order to help us serve rightly? Or where do we fall in our beliefs when we serve half-heartedly?” And the answer was clear that we have to believe that “it is better to give than to receive.” It’s BETTER. We have to sincerely believe that we’re getting the better end of the deal!! And we are!! We don’t serve as some type of ultimate self-sacrifice. There’s no such thing as ultimate self-sacrifice in Christianity. Ultimately – in everything – we get Jesus. Who is better than everything in every situation!


    I still thank God for his sovereign plan of having John Piper say the things he said in that Passion ’98 sermon we heard 4 or 5 years ago. Amen?

  3. Bret Rogers Says:

    Amen, my brother. In fact, it was six years ago. I have been so grateful for those two hours I spent in my room that afternoon listening to that message, twice. I remember calling you while you were on your way to College Station and talking about it. Afterwards, I listened to it again with Mom. O, sweet providence. Thank you Jesus Christ.

  4. Ched Says:

    Good Post. Good Reminder.

    You said, though there is some discontinuity to how this command to stay home for a year now functions under the New Covenant,

    Though the legal material in the Law (Pentateuch) is not binding on you (it wasn’t given to you), it still serves the purpose of curtailing sin, revealing the character of God (a king’s laws reflect on himself) and providing wisdom. I think you’ve very aptly utilized the latter two purposes in your post. The wisdom of this verse is further confirmed by the testimony of other (canonical) texts.

    I think you’ve actually demonstrated the continuity between the legal materials of the Law and the New Covenant in your thoughts.

    I might be way of on this 🙂

  5. Bret Rogers Says:

    Thank you for clarifying my words Ched. What I meant concerning the “function” of this command under the New Covenant was exactly how you worded it. You are not off; my wording is off. I continue to obtain fruit from our discussions concerning “canonical unity.”

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