A few months ago I cracked open J.I. Packer’s book A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, I got about 30 pages into the book and decided that I did not want to read it at the time. However, even from the first 30 or so pages Packer showed how many great things the Puritans have to say to us today.
One of the quotations that I found particularly engaging was one in which Packer explains how the Puritans viewed marriage. I think it is a good word for our current approach to marriage which is broadly based on the feelings of the two involved. Here goes:
The Puritan ethic of marriage was 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, and then proceed with God’s help to do just that. (pg. 25)
Now, having read that you may be thinking to yourself “How Puritanical!” Be that as it may, you cannot deny that this approach carries much more weight and wisdom than our current approach which takes more account of a potential spouses frivolities than it does of their vices and virtues. Oh, and before you start spouting off words like “Puritanical” you might want to do you homework. Families in excess of 10 children where pretty common in Puritan circles so I don’t think the parents had much of an aversion to the marriage bed as many moderns might impose on them!
Food for thought!