Thoughts on Marriage

“Be sure you are not making your judgments based on the ideas you have derived from novels and films. This is not so easy to do as people think. Our experience is coloured through and through by books and plays and the cinema, and it takes patience and skill to disentangle the things we have really learned from life for ourselves.” ―C. S. Lewis

“The Christian religion, by confining marriage to pairs, and rendering the relation indissoluble, has by these two things done more toward the peace, happiness, settlement, and civilization of the world, than by any other part in this whole scheme of divine wisdom.” —Edmund Burke

“A wife is easily taken, but to have abiding love, that is the challenge. One who finds it in his marriage should thank the Lord God for it. Therefore approach marriage earnestly, asking God to give you a good, pious girl, with whom you can spend your life in mutual love. For sex [alone] accomplishes nothing in this regard; there must also be agreement in values and character.”  —Martin Luther

“Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has few pleasures.” ―Samuel Johnson

“I pay very little regard to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.” ―Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

“She is always married too soon who gets a bad husband, and she is never married too late who gets a good one.” ―Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders

“It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs. Carlyle marry one another and so make only two people miserable instead of four.” ―Samuel Butler

“But there are certainly not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women who deserve them.” ―Jane Austen

“To be so bent on marriage–to pursue a man merely for the sake of a situation – is a sort of thing that shocks me; I cannot understand it. Poverty is a great evil, but to a woman of education and feeling, it ought not, it cannot be the greatest. I would rather be a teacher in a school (and I can think of nothing worse) than marry a man I did not like.” – Jane Austen, The Watsons

“The great secret of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.” ―Harold Nicholson

“A husband and wife cannot long exist as one flesh, if they are habitually unkind, rude or untruthful. Every sin breaks down the body of the Mystery, puts asunder what God and nature have joined. The marriage rite is aware of this; it bids us to loving, to honoring, to cherishing, for just that reason. This is all obvious in the extreme, but it needs saying loudly and often. The only available candidates for matrimony are, every last one of them, sinners. As sinners, they are in a fair way to wreak themselves and anyone else who gets within arm’s length of them. Without virtue, therefore, no marriage will make it. The first of all vocations, the ground line of the walls of the New Jerusalem is made of stuff like truthfulness, patience, love and liberality; of prudence, justice, temperance and courage; and of all their adjuncts and circumstances: manners, consideration, fair speech and the ability to keep one’s mouth shut and one’s heart open, as need.” — Robert Farrar Capon, Food for Thought

“As a house can be only be built satisfactorily and durably when there is a foundation, and a picture can be painted only when there is something prepared to paint it on, so carnal love is only legitimate, reasonable, and lasting when it is based on the respect and love of one human being for another.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Walk in the Light & Twenty-Three Tales

“A marriage which does not constantly crucify its own selfishness and self-sufficiency, which does not ‘die to itself’ that it may point beyond itself, is not a Christian marriage. The real sin of marriage today is not adultery or lack of ‘adjustment’ or ‘mental cruelty.’ It is the idolization of the family itself, the refusal to understand marriage as directed toward the Kingdom of God. This is expressed in the sentiment that one would ‘do anything’ for his family, even steal. The family has here ceased to be for the glory of God; it has ceased to be a sacramental entrance into his presence. It is not the lack of respect for the family, it is the idolization of the family that breaks the modern family so easily, making divorce its almost natural shadow. It is the identification of marriage with happiness and the refusal to accept the cross in it. In a Christian marriage, in fact, three are married; and the united loyalty of the two toward the third, who is God, keeps the two in an active unity with each other as well as with God. Yet it is the presence of God which is the death of the marriage as something only ‘natural.’ It is the cross of Christ that brings the self-sufficiency of nature to its end. But ‘by the cross, joy entered the whole world.’ Its presence is thus the real joy of marriage. It is the joyful certitude that the marriage vow, in the perspective of the eternal Kingdom, is not taken ‘until death parts,’ but until death unites us completely.” 
― Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy

“First, he must choose his love, and then he must love his choice.” —Henry Smith

“Marriage is an adventure, like going to war.” —G.K. Chesterton

“Keep up your conjugal love in constant heat and vigor.” —Richard Baxter

“Keep thy eyes wide open before marriage; and half shut afterward.” —Thomas Fuller

“When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.” —C.S. Lewis

“If you would have a good wife, marry one who has been a good daughter.” —Thomas Fuller

“A man finds himself seven years older the day after his marriage.” —Francis Bacon

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