(This passage is taken from Becon's Catechism. He served as Chaplain to the Reformed Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer.)
Father. Is it the duty of an husband only to provide for his wife things necessary for the body?
Son. Not only. His duty is also to provide things necessary for her soul's health, as right institution [instruction] in the mysteries of Christ's religion, knowledge of God's holy word, the true understanding of the holy sacraments, and all other things necessary for the salvation of her soul.
Father. How provest thou that the man is thus bound to teach his wife the way of truth, and to inform her from time to time in all such matters as appertain unto salvation and unto everlasting life?
Son. St Paul hath these words: "Let your women keep silence in the congregations. For it is not permitted unto them to speak; but rather to be under obedience, as the law saith. If they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the congregation." Again: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection." Here it is evident, that if the wife lack knowledge in spiritual and heavenly things, she ought to ask her husband, then is the husband bound to teach his wife, and to inform her with the knowledge of God's mysteries. Is not the unbelieving wife many times sanctified by the believing husband? "How knowest thou, O man," saith St Paul, "whether thou shalt save thy wife or no?" How can the faithful man save his unfaithful wife, but by teaching her the word of salvation? The man is bound to "love his wife as Christ loved the congregation." Christ loveth so his congregation, that when he was here corporally on earth, he himself taught it; and now that he is gone from us concerning his bodily presence, he sendeth unto the faithful his holy Spirit, to instruct and teach them, and to lead them into the way of truth, as he saith by the prophet: "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy," &c. Again he saith: "That Comforter, that Holy Spirit, whom the Father shall send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and lead you into all truth." After the example of Christ ought the husband to instruct his wife, and seek all means possible to bring her unto the truth. Again the man is bound to "love his wife as himself." Is there any man so estranged from all wit and reason, that he desire to be ignorant of those things which concern his salvation? Will not he rather seek all means possible to be taught, and to come unto the knowledge of those things? Even that care ought the man also to have for his wife, that she in like manner may have the perfect knowledge of the way of salvation. We are commanded to "teach and warn one another": and shall not the husband teach his wife, and warn her of those things that belong unto her salvation? Every man is a bishop in his own house. Who seeth not then that the householder is bound to teach his household, the chief member whereof the wife is, and therefore necessarily to be instructed and taught of her husband?
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