the past couple of years in lieu of John Calvin’s 500th birthday, we
have been blessed with many books on the reformer and his view of or wide influence
on a wide assortment of theological, political or sociological issues and institutions.
One thing that has corpus has lacked is writing on Calvin’s views of gender
roles in the home and church, most of which are found in his exegetical
writings. Below is an excellent passage from Calvin on 1 Peter 3 extracted from
Calvin’s commentaries by Joel Beeke and published in the daily devotional 365 Days With Calvin (DayOne). Headship
is intended to be a gracious, servant-oriented reality that glorifies God seems
to be Calvin’s central message, one we as a forgetful people cannot hear
says that when a man is too harsh and rigorous to his wife, and the wife
becomes so cross that he cannot cope with her nor is she willing to submit
herself as she ought, then their prayers are hindered (1 Peter 3:7). It is as
if the apostle says, “Wretched people, what are you thinking? Are you not very
miserable in seeing that the gate is shut against you and you cannot invoke
God? What will become of you when you cannot put yourselves in the hands of
concord between husbands and wives and bids them come to him. When a husband
behaves peaceably toward his wife, and the wife also does her duty, the Lord
says, “If you will call upon me, I will give ear to you as if you prayed out of
one mouth.” Seeing that our Lord calls us to him for our good and for our
salvation, commanding us to call upon him with a pure heart, must we not accept
such a profitable condition?
Therefore let us
note that, if a husband intends to discharge his duty, and the wife similarly,
both of them must have an eye to God, accepting their marriage as from him, and
assuring themselves that they did not meet by chance but were joined together by
the Lord. For it was God’s intent that the husband should be a companion to his
wife and receive her as part of himself, and that the wife yield the degree of
honor to her husband that belongs to him and submit herself to him as her head.
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