Abraham Booth, “Pastors, Care for Your Wives”

In an ordination message preached in 1785, Baptist pastor, Abraham Booth, gave a powerful exhortation on the need of pastors to attend to their own wives and children.  He voices in first person what he fears is the cry of too many pastors’ wives and closes with an exhortation referring to one’s wife as his Second-self:

“I have indeed married a preacher of the gospel but I do not find in him the affectionate domestic instructor for either myself or my children. My husband is much esteemed among his religious acquaintance as a respectable christian character, but his example at home is far from being delightful. Affable condescending and pleasing in the parlours of religious friends but frequently either trifling and unsavoury or imperious and unsocial in his own family. Preferring the opportunity of being entertained at a plentiful table and of conversing with the wealthy the polite and the sprightly to the homely fare of his own family and the company of his wife and children, he often spends his afternoons and evenings from home until so late an hour that domestic worship is either omitted or performed in a hasty and slovenly manner with scarcely the appearance of devotion. Little caring for my soul or for the management of our growing offspring he seems concerned for hardly any thing more than keeping fair with his people relative to which I have often calmly remonstrated and submissively entreated but all in vain. Surrounded with little ones and attended with straits, destitute of the sympathies, the instructions, the consolations which might have been expected from the affectionate heart of a pious husband, connected with the gifts of an evangelical minister, I pour out my soul to God and mourn in secret.”

Such there is ground of apprehension has been the sorrowful soliloquy of many a minister’s pious dutiful and prudent wife. Take heed then to the best interests of your Second-Self .

Oh, may my wife never have to feel this way!

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