What does it look like for a Christian man to faithfully serve and care for his wife?

The great Princeton Theologian, B.B Warfield, is known as one of the toughest, boldest, and most biblically faithful American Theologians of the late nineteenth century.  Even his typical burly glare in most of his pictures would send a liberal theologian running.  Because of this, it may surprise you to read of Warfield’s legendary example in his joyful, sacrificial service to his invalid wife.  David Calhoun, in his book on Princeton Seminary, vividly captures this powerful example:

Through all the years of their married life Dr. Warfield faithfully cared for his invalid wife.  He guarded, protected, and stood by her while carrying his full teaching load and pursuing demanding writing assignments.  The seminary students often noted his gentle and loving care for Mrs. Warfield as they walked together on Princeton streets and, later, back and forth on the porch of their campus home.  Finally she was bedridden and saw few people besides her husband.  By his own choice Dr. Warfield became almost confined to his house; he was never away from her for more than an hour or two at a time.  He set aside time to read to her every day.  They left Princeton only once in the ten years before her death, for a vacation that he hoped would help her.  With his excellent health and varied interests Dr. Warfield must have felt this restriction, but he never complained.

Despite Warfield’s constant care of his wife, Gresham Machen believed Warfield had done “about as much work as ten ordinary men.”  Warfield, like many others, can teach us much about theology, but he may be one of just a few celebrated men of history who by his life example can squash our weak excuses of neglect and challenge us to serve our wives with consistency, sacrifice, and longevity.

Posted in Home and Family
4 comments on “What does it look like for a Christian man to faithfully serve and care for his wife?
  1. Dr. Croft,

    Thanks for this inspiring post. One day I want to be able to hear Him say, “well done” like Warfield has heard.

    I am my husband’s caregiver. Many times as we go to church together, my heart is heavy because of issues from his Alzheimer’s that I can’t share with the pastor and with other church members while my husband is with me. So much I can and do share with the LORD even while my husband and I pray together. I have a blog and e-mail, but Warfield just had the LORD, and you know, Dr. Croft, that’s all any of us need.

  2. Mark Dickinson says:

    Thanks for this reminder. Another biblical model of this kind of love is that of Dr. Robertson McQuilken, past-president of Columbia International University (SC). His story is documented in the book, A Promise Kept.

  3. David McKay says:

    You beat me to it, Mark. But his surname is spelt McQuilkin. [Wrongly spelt on Youtube, though]

  4. We can’t simply maintain a status quo where people have to receive care in the
    home the proper care. Creation: This is allowing creativity in people with dementia and
    their informal carers will have the information and support they need at a difficult time.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "What does it look like for a Christian man to faithfully serve and care for his wife?"
  1. [...] What Does it Look Like for a Christian Man to Serve His Wife? Some great thoughts from B.B. Warfield, Ala Brian Croft. [...]

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