JOHN CALVIN knew what he wanted in a wife: “This only is the beauty that allures me: if she is chaste, if not too fussy or fastidious, if economical, if patient, if there is hope that she will be interested about my health.” But after three potential engagements fell through, he wrote to Farel, “I have not found a wife and frequently hesitate as to whether I ought any more to seek one.” When he stopped seeking, he found.Read More
items tagged with marriage
Uncommon Union: The Life and Love of Sarah and Jonathan Edwards2004
An Uncommon Union: The Life and Love of Sarah and Jonathan Edwards provides penetrating insight into an amazing home and marriage relationship, one that left an indelible legacy in American history.
A T 26 YEARS OLD, G.K. Chesterton wrote that the world in 1901 was “full of the trampling of totally new forces.” One of these “new forces” was commonly called the Woman Question:
Should women be allowed to receive higher education? Should they be allowed to vote and take part in politics? What about women being employed equally with men in the business world?
Chesterton agreed with the conservative views of most of his male peers on these questions, but not always for their reasons. Chesterton was not afraid of women, and he did not...Read More
I N 1738, John and Charles Wesley vowed that neither would wed without first receiving the other’s approval. For one brother the agreement confirmed a lifelong love, but for the other it probably ruined any chance for happiness.
Back in 1736 John had found his first love, Sophia Hopkey, in Georgia. A good-natured girl of 18, “Miss Sophy,” as John always called her, was one of his first friends in America. John, then 33, felt his heart drawn to her but resolved to watch himself carefully.
Although he enjoyed spending time with Sophy, he...Read More
For a thousand years, the single, celibate life had been upheld as the Christian ideal. Sex, though grudgingly permitted inside marriage, was not to be enjoyed. As Jerome declared in the fourth century, “Anyone who is too passionate a lover with his own wife is himself an adulterer.”
Then came Luther.
Luther elevated marriage and family life; in one scholar’s words, he “placed the home at the center of the universe.” His teaching and practice were so radical, so long-lasting, some scholars have argued that other than the church “the home was...Read More
When 25-year-old Whitefield met young Elizabeth Delamotte, he struggled to reconcile his love for Christ with the strange new sensation he felt toward her. Sailing to America in 1739, he resolved to put her out of his mind. But when he arrived in Georgia, a letter from her awaited him.
“What room can there be for God,” he wrote her, “when a rival hath taken possession of the heart?” Still, “I could almost drop a tear, and wish myself, for a moment or two, in England. But hush, nature.” Whitefield’s Journals soon report...Read More
A LTHOUGH ROMANCE was far less a factor in marriage for nineteenth-century couples than it is today, the unmarried Livingstone seemed even less romantic than most.
Before he married, he prided himself on his celibacy and singleness. When his London Missionary Society (LMS) application asked simply for his marital status, for example, Livingstone wrote a mammoth reply: “Unmarried; under no engagement related to marriage, never made proposals of marriage, nor conducted myself so to any woman as to cause her to suspect that I intended anything...Read More
I N THE 1940S, a British district officer in Tabora, in what is now central Tanzania, found the local people still told stories about Livingstone, who had spent six months there before setting out on his last journey.
An old man said, “My father used to say that Livingstone was like a man that had three wives, and yet none of them were women. One was a river. The river they call the Nile. The second was the struggle against slavery. The third, religion.”
By the time Livingstone had reached Tabora, his true wife was long dead. But local...Read More
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...Read More
THE REAL JONATHAN EDWARDS, the man, the person, was a tender husband, an effective and affectionate father, a human being quite unlike the image of him as the stern preacher of sermons about sin. His happy marriage to Sarah Pierrepont was more than a loving link between two people: it was Edwards’ link to life—to the practical; to warm fireplaces, good food, attractive surroundings; to devotion, to the dailyness of the Incarnation. What Edwards described as their “uncommon union” bonded them marvelously to one another and it also bonded...Read More
When Tolkien set out to create his mythological Elvish race, he drew inspiration from a muse dear to his heart. Edith Bratt (pictured here at age 19 when she first met Tolkien) shared the same grief—both had lost their mothers in their teens. The two met in a boarding home, promptly became fast friends, and fell in love.
The Return of the King tells of the human Aragorn and the Elven Arwen pledging their love for one another in the forest of Lothlorien (drawn here by Tolkien). The scene echoed in Tolkien’s life: After the...Read More