Martin Luther on Marriage Essay
Martin Luther on Marriage
Martin Luther clearly states that in the beginning, God created male and female, blessed them, and told them to be fruitful and multiply . According to Martin Luther, in order for this ordinance to be fulfilled, man and woman must come together in marriage as husband and wife. It is not within the powers of a man or a woman, according to Martin Luther, to be the way he/she is or to live without a partner . Luther states that marriage is not a subject of free choice, but rather a natural and important thing. The ordinance, to be fruitful and multiply, is godly and not within the powers of man to obstruct or disregard.
Man and woman are created by God for the sole purpose of multiplying, and whoever tries to resist this, lives in sin . Martin Luther however states that there are people who are exempted from marriage; the eunuchs . He states that unless one is a eunuch, he/she should not presume to be without a partner due to the fact that it is hard for one to remain righteous. He believes that marriage is something instituted by God and that all vows are invalid before Him, with the exception of any person who is a eunuch .
He urges all those who have taken vows to reconsider their innate companionship and get into marriage, because they are acting contrary to the will of God. Martin Luther rejects all the reasons set by the pope in his standard law for bringing a marriage to an end or preventing it altogether. Martin Luther believes that marriage is not all about money as set by the papal authority. According to Luther, a person should not enter into marriage with her mother, sister, step-mother, step-sister, grand daughter, or aunt regardless of whether he has money or not .
Martin Luther however states that one can enter into marriage with her brother’s daughter. He believes that a man should take a wife as he pleases, regardless of whether he is the spiritual father, godchild, or whether the lady is a sister or a daughter of his spiritual sponsor or not. Martin Luther believes that an adopted child is free to marry the son or the daughter of its adoptive parent due to the fact that they have no blood relationship . He also asserts that everybody is free to get into marriage with whomever he/she pleases regardless of the religious or ethnic background of such a person.
He believes that everyone is a God’s creation and should enter into marriage with whomever he/she likes. According to Martin Luther, no sin or crime should be a barrier to marriage. He argues that sins should be punished with other penalties, rather than forbidding marriage. Martin Luther also states that after the death of a spouse to be, a man or woman is free to marry any of the relative of the dead partner except for mother or daughter . Martin Luther claims that marriage as a result of coercion is not valid before the eyes of God.
He however states that a man, who is in marriage as a result of coercion, should not leave her wife . He also states that if a man takes more than two girls to be his wives, without the consent of her parents, then his father should decide which of the girls is to remain as a wife. He believes that parental authority must be respected before any one enters into secret engagement. Martin Luther states that marriages are not supposed to be broken without a sound cause . He states that the only logical reasons for dissolving a marriage are adultery and unfit spouse for marriage.
Basing his arguments on the New Testament, Martin Luther makes it clear that no one should put asunder what God has joined together. According to Martin Luther, every party in marriage is supposed to fulfill the conjugal rights of the other. Basing his argument on the teachings of St Paul, he stresses that no man or woman has authority over his/her own body, but his/her partner does. Luther asserts that a divorce may be sought; if one of the parties does not satisfy the conjugal rights of the other. He continues to say that if a couple obtains a divorce, they should remain as such unless they are reconciled .
The contemporary church, from this discussion, should realize that the estate of marriage has fallen into an extremely awful disgrace as Martin Luther asserts. It is high time the church realized that a woman is not an evil being. Women are God’s creation, and subjecting them to disrespect is blaspheming the work of God . Martin Luther states that in order that the church may carry on in light, concerning the issue of marriage, it should first hold that man and woman are the work of God, which should not be subjected to criticism .
Basing his stand on the Old Testament, Martin Luther states that God knows what is good for everyone of us. It is high time therefore that the modern church leaders realized that God is the initiator of marriage. According to Martin Luther, “God saw it was not good for man to be alone, and he created for him a companion” . Modern churches, in addition to church congregations, should learn that they have no right in deterring children from marriage alluring them to nunnery and priesthood, citing the tribulations of a married life .
Martin Luther states that all those who criticize or censure marriage are acting contrary to the will of God. The church, based on that fact, should be on the look out for publications which criticize marriage. Luther is greatly embittered by those who term marriage as brief joy and long-lasting bitterness. He states that “to recognize the estate of marriage is something quite different from merely being married” . The church should learn that those who do not make out the estate of marriage can in no way continue in marriage without resentment and anguish.
But, on the other hand, those who recognize the estate of marriage obtain unending pleasure, joy and delight. Basing his arguments on the teachings of St Paul, he says that those who marry are not exempted from earthly problems, but continues to say that their spiritual delight greatly exceed their outward bitterness. The church, according to Martin Luther, should learn that no one can generate real happiness in marriage without recognizing that marriage is pleasing to God. The church should learn greatly from Martin Luther’s assertion that “he who refuses to marry will fall into sins” .
This is due to the fact that God created both man and woman for purposes of reproduction and multiplication. He claims that if this reproduction happens not in marriage, then it is bound to happen in covert sins and fornication . Luther claims that it is high time the church stopped putting marriage so far below virginity. Luther claims that no estate should be taken as better than the estate of marriage in the sight of God . He states that those who fail to marry claiming that they are not able to support their marriage display a lack of faith in God. Yet, God has made it clear that out of our sweat shall we eat.
The church should also learn that those who fail to marry out of celibacy, their vows are invalid before God unless they fall under the category of eunuchs. The Church should learn, as Luther claims, that these people are bound to commit sins due to the fact that no one has the capability of resisting God’s ordinance within him/her. The church should also learn, as Luther makes it clear, not to take money as solution to critical marriage issues. Luther states that one may marry whomever he/she likes, except for a blood relative or parents to his/her spouse, without setting up any cash for the privilege .
It can therefore be concluded that marriage is a good thing, for humankind, ordained from God. It is advisable for one to marry unless he falls under the category of eunuchs lest he fall into sins. The church should not set up conditions to determine the way marriage is supposed to be handled. Money and wealth should not be a factor to consider when getting into marriage. Bibliography: Luther, Martin. The Estate of Marriage, 1522, viewed on May 19, 2010 from http://www. warwick. ac. uk/fac/arts/History/teaching/protref/women/WR0913. htm
Subject: Martin Luther,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 September 2016
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