Counsel of Chalcedon
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Protecting the Weaker Vessel

As we mentioned in our last message, we are in the section of Deuteronomy which deals with the Seventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." This commandment is a protective for the family. As such it is a vital law that demands our close attention in the anti-marriage and anti-family modern world today. Conntrary to modern radical "equal rights" advocates, man and woman are fundamentally different. There is a creational distinction ordained by God between the two sexes that no amount of philosophical argument or political legislation can overcome. Like it or not, in the beginning "male and female created he them" (Gen. 1:21). One aspect of the distinction between the sexes is a God ordained role distinction between husband and wife. According to the Word of God (and undoubtedly to human experience): the woman is the "weaker vessel." Thus, it is incumbent upon the husband to "give honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel" (l Pet. 3:7). This is why it is the husband that is commanded to be the head of the home throughout Scripture, beginning in Genesis and continuing into the New Testament. This is why it is left to the man to "leave his father and his mother" in order to take the initiative in seeking out a wife (Gen. 2:24). This is why it is the husband who is to "nourish and cherish" the wife (Eph. 5:29). The words "nourish" and "cherish" literally mean "feed" and "warm". Thus, the command means to support by providing food and clothing. This is why it is the husband that is commanded to "provide for his own, and specially for those of his own house" (1 Tim. 5:8). In this message we will consider a three-fold application of the various case laws presented. These three applications of the laws listed are deSigned to protect the weaker vessel. Although the specifics of the case laws may not directly apply today, the principles upon which they are erected undoubtedly do.