Luther on Pursuing Marriage

Wedding Rings 2Here is a quote from Getting Serious About Getting Married. The book argues why singleness is not the preferred status for men or women. The book is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. Here is one of my favorite quotes in the book. Not unexpectly, it comes from Martin Luther.

Many think they can evade marriage by having their fling for a time and then becoming righteous….If one in a thousand succeeds in this that would be doing very well. He who intends to lead a chaste life had better begin early, and attain it not with but without fornication either by the grace of God or by marriage…

Why should one not forestall immorality by means of marriage? For if special grace does not exempt a person, his nature must and will compel him to produce seed and multiply. If this does not occur in marriage, how else can it occur except in fornication and secret sins?

But, they say, suppose I am neither married nor immoral, and force myself to remain continent [celibate/single/chaste]? Do you not hear that restraint is impossible without special grace? For God’s Word does not admit restraint; neither does it lie when it says, “Be fruitful and multiply.”….You can neither escape nor restrain yourself from being fruitful and multiplying; it is God’s ordinance and takes its course….

Whoever finds himself unsuited to the celibate life should see to it right way that the has something to do and to work at it; then let him strike out in God’s name and get married.