37) Troubles, Whether One is Married or Single

By Martin Luther (1483-1546; married in 1525), recorded in Table Talk (#3508),                                   from a conversation in 1536. 

     He who takes a wife is not idle, for marriage keeps him busy.  To remain content in celibacy confronts one with many temptations that are not trivial, as the experienced know.  On the other hand, the annoyances of marriage are almost unbearable to men.  Accordingly, Socrates is reported to have given a good answer to a man who was contemplating marriage.  He told him, “Whatever you may do, you will regret it.”  In paradise, where there was no such ardor and raging passion, marriage must have been very pleasant.  Flesh and blood were different then.  But we have become so infected with original sin that there’s no kind of life which, once undertaken, isn’t a matter of regret at times.  This is the fault of our original sin, which has defiled and deformed all human nature.  Dear God, how art thou to arrange things so as to please us?

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Proverbs 19:23 — The fear of the Lord leads to life:  Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Philippians 4:11b-13 — …I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

I Timothy 6:6-8 — But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 

Hebrews 13:4-6 — Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid…”

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Almighty God, who knows our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking: Set free your servants from all anxious thoughts about tomorrow; make us content with your good gifts; and confirm our faith that as we seek your kingdom, you will not allow us to lack any good thing; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  –St. Augustine