Marriage


As many of you know, my wife and I are expecting our first child. Fortunately for me, my wife has plunged into the world of literature on the subject and is becoming acquainted with all manner of philosophy on child health and rearing. Since we recently finished The Man Who Was Thursday together, we tried our hand at book one of Augustine’s Confessions. Having read enough of it previously to know he talks about childhood and infancy, I was eager to read it with the wife. Here’s an excerpt we came across yesterday that, I think, will be prophetic for our youngster. 🙂

I began to smile; first in sleep, then waking: for so it was told me of myself, and I believed it; for we see the like in other infants, though of myself I remember it not. Thus, little by little, I became conscious where I was; and to have a wish to express my wishes to those who could content them, and I could not; for the wishes were within me, and they without; nor could they by any sense of theirs enter within my spirit. So I flung about at random limbs and voice, making the few signs I could, and such as I could, like, though in truth very little like, what I wished. And when I was not presently obeyed (my wishes being hurtful or unintelligible), then I was indignant with my elders for not submitting to me, with those owing me no service, for not serving me; and avenged myself on them by tears. Such have I learnt infants to be from observing them; and that I was myself such, they, all unconscious, have shown me better than my nurses who knew it.

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I’ve been reading “Jonathan Edwards: A Life” by George M. Marsden the past week.  If you couldn’t tell by the title, it’s a biography on the life of Jonathan Edwards.  The book has been engaging and stimulating, even for a biography. 

One part that completely caught me by surprise was the average marrying age of Northampton in the late 1720s and early 1730s.  From my previous understanding of marriage history (which is very limited), I would assume people during this era would have been married by, at the latest, their twentieth birthday.  I’ve always been under the impression that “back in the day,” people were marrying a lot younger and today’s marriage culture is a new phenomenon.  The “new” concept of marriage at an older age may not always have been the norm.  As Marsden points out, most men and women in Northampton around 1730 were in their late twenties when married (Edwards was early/mid twenties).  Now, this may have been a fluke and a rare occurrence, but shows that our “new” marriage culture may not be so new after all. 

I was reading parts of Piper’s sermon last week titled, Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 2 and came across this quote talking about leadership in physical protection.

This is too obvious to need illustration—I wish. If there is a sound downstairs during the night and it might be a burglar, you don’t say to her: This is an egalitarian marriage, so it’s your turn to go check it out. I went last time.” And I mean that even if your wife has a black belt in karate. After you’ve tried, she may finish off the burglar with one good kick to the solar plexus. But you better be unconscious on the floor, or you’re no man. That’s written on your soul, brother, by God Almighty. Big or little, strong or weak, night or day, you go up against the enemy first. Woe to the husband—and woe to the nation—that send their women to fight their battles.

I found myself visualizing this scenario in my head, which brought out a good chuckle.

On a more serious note, I have thoroughly enjoyed his series on marriage even though I’m still single. The series has provided great biblical truths about men, women, and marriage. The world has seriously rejected and reinterpreted these biblical truths, and ashamedly I’ve done so also. May my understanding of marriage come from the Bible and not from my presuppositions based on worldly, man centered knowledge.

On another note, I’m done with the preparation for my talks tomorrow and I praise God for the strength, wisdom, and perseverance to complete them. I really enjoyed preparing, even though there were some rough patches. Sorry for not posting any of it on the blog, I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to have time to post. Lord willing, I’ll post some things from it next week.

To God be the glory