Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Puritan Ethic of Marriage

In his message "Preparation for Marriage" C.J. Mahaney shared a quote that I found very intriguing and thought it was worth sharing with my fellow single friends.

“The Puritan ethic of marriage was first to look not for a partner whom you do love passionately at this moment but rather for one whom you can love steadily as your best friend for life, then to proceed with God’s help to do just that.”

J.I. Packer, Foreword to Worldly Saints – The Puritans As They Really Were

C.J. was talking about the issue of unreasonable expectations for your future spouse. I found it very appropriate to go back and hear what Puritans had to say about this topic since they were not submerged in a culture that had a really messed up view of marriage. After hearing this quote I had to really question if this was how I viewed seeking my future spouse, could this be restated as "Ryan's ethic of marriage", sadly most of the time my view is just the opposite. I think why this quote and or the topic in general strikes Christian singles so hard is we are so quick to hear something that is not being said.

The Puritans are not saying that you dont have to have any feeling for your spouse or looks don’t matter, or you should marry solely based on their level spiritually. It is definitely saying you should love person you plan to marry about is questions the type of love you base that on. When it says you don’t have to "love passionately" its means that we can have this idea that just because the "Love Train" doesn’t show up and run you over every time you see that person doesn’t mean you couldn’t spent the rest of your life with them. It says that we should look for someone that you "love steadily". Well does that sound romantic, comon my grandparents “went steady". When you look at this from a biblical view a steadily love is a true love. God loves us with a steadfast love. What if God had the most passionate love for us on day but could care less about us the next. The quote mentions how we relate to our best friends. Our closest friends are the ones that we spent the most time with, can bare with, are loyal to, and we dont easily change our opinion of them. This is what will make a marriage last and bring glory to God, a true biblical love not a unstable affection.

- Ryan

5 comments:

amber said...

"This is what will make a marriage last and bring glory to God, a true biblical love not a unstable affection." Nice closing line.

On the whole, I think you did a great job commenting on the quote. You have some good insights on this topic.

kyle said...

Excellent points Ryan. We should look to love our (future wives. for some of us really really far away future.) wives as God loves us. With a covenant keeping love that will endure despite hardship and indwelling sin.

Kevin said...

Nice. Not only does this truth inform marriage but dating as well. Thanks Ryan, for showing me the differnce between love and affection. I LOVE you. Just kidding. But, no, seriously.

Jenn Romanski said...

The part that most hit me was "What if God had the most passionate love for us on day but could care less about us the next."

To love with this steadfast, enduring love. Praise God that He set His love upon me, and that that will never change.

Sarah said...

We all know what your thinking about Ryan. Just kidding.
Good perspective on this topic
-Sarah-