Christian History Sampler: Martin Luther on Marriage
I have been very happy in my marriage, thank God. I have a faithful wife, according to Solomon: “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” (Prov. 31:11). She spoils nothing for me. Ah, dear Lord God, marriage is not something natural and physical; but it is a gift of God, the sweetest, nay, the most chaste life; it is above all celibacy.
This is a true definition of marriage: Marriage is the God-appointed and legitimate union of man and woman in the hope of having children or at least for the purpose of avoiding fornication and sin and living to the glory of God.
Note that when … natural reason (whom the heathen have followed when they wanted to be very wise), looks at married life, she turns up her nose and says: “Ah, should I rock the baby, wash diapers, make the bed, smell foul odors, watch through the night, wait upon the bawling youngster and heal its infected sores, then take care of the wife, support her by working, tend to this, tend to that, do this, do that, suffer this, suffer that, and put up with whatever additional displeasure and trouble married life brings? Should I be so imprisoned?”
I would not want to exchange my Kate for France nor for Venice to boot; to begin with (1) because God has given her to me and me to her; (2) because I often find out that there are more shortcomings in other women than in my Kate; and although she, of course, has some too, these are nonetheless offset by far greater virtues; (3) because she keeps faith and honor in our marriage relation.
Marriage is most suitable between equals. An old man and a young girl do not fit well together. But, of course, in such a case riches can do something. A certain old man who had become engaged boastfully showed all his wealth to his fiancee. ...