Martin Luther: On Marriage

The following are some quick quotes from Martin Luther on the estate of marriage (quotes are copied from “A Monk Marries” from Christian History Magazineissue 39, 1993).

  • There’s a lot to get used to in the first years of marriage. One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the pillow that were not there before.
  • If I should ever marry again, I would hew myself an obedient wife out of stone.
  • I have been very happy in my marriage, thank God. I have a faithful wife, according to Solomon: “They heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” (Prov 31:11). She spoils nothing for me.
  • When one looks back upon it, marriage isn’t so bad as when one looks forward to it.
  • Married fold are not to act as they now usually do. The men are almost lions in their homes, hard toward their wives and servants. The women, too, everywhere want to domineer and have their husbands as servants.
  • Of course, the Christian should love his wife.  He is supposed to love his neighbor, and since his wife is his nearest neighbor, she should be his deepest love.
  • When that wise harlot, natural reason, 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 fo 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?”
  • The Devil cannot bear to see married people agree well with each other.
  • It is impossible to keep peace between man and woman in family life if they do not condone and overlook each other’s faults but watch everything to the smallest point. For who does not at times offend?
  • Some marriages were motivated by mere lust, but mere lust is felt even by fleas and lice. Love begins when we wish to serve others.
  • The purpose of marriage is not pleasure and ease but the procreation and education of children and the support of a family… People who do not like children are swine, dunces, and blockheads, not worthy to be called men and women, because the despise the blessing of God, the Creator and Author of marriage.
  • To have peace and love in a marriage is a gift that is next to the knowledge of the gospel.
  • In domestic affairs I defer to Katie. Otherwise, I am led by the Holy Ghost.

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