C.S. Lewis: Love, Marriage & Biblical Headship (a letter to a lady)

Read whole letter to Mary Neylan here: http://tinyurl.com/7my76fs

“The modern tradition is that the proper reason for marrying is the state described as ‘being in love’. Now I have nothing to say against ‘being in love’: but the idea that this is or ought to be the exclusive reason or that it can ever be by itself an adequate basis seems to be simply moonshine.

In the first place, many ages, many cultures, and many individuals don’t experience it – and Christianity is for all men, not simply for modern Western Europeans. Secondly, it often unites most unsuitable people. Thirdly, is it not usually transitory? Doesn’t the modern emphasis on ‘love’ lead people either into divorce or into misery, because when that emotion dies down they conclude that their marriage is a ‘failure’, though in fact they have just reached the point at which real marriage begins…

[Lewis then goes on to list 3 reasons for marriage: offspring, sexual temptation and ‘the firm’]…The third reason gives the thing that matters far more than ‘being in love’ and will last and increase, between good people long after ‘love’ in the popular sense is only as a memory of childhood – the partnership, the loyalty to ‘the firm’, the composite creature…

Now the second reason involves the whole Christian view of sex. It is all contained in Christ‘s saying that two shall be ‘one flesh’. He says nothing about two ‘who married for love’: the mere fact of marriage at all – however it came about – sets up the ‘one flesh’. There is a terrible comment on this in I Cor VI 16 ‘he that is joined to a harlot is one flesh’. You see? Apparently, if Christianity is true, the mere fact of sexual intercourse sets up between human beings a relation which has, so to speak, transcendental repercussions – some eternal relation is established whether they like it or not.

This sounds very odd. But is it? After all, if there is an eternal world and if our world is its manifestation, then you would expect bits of it to ‘stick through’ into ours. We are like children pulling the levers of a vast machine of which most is concealed. We see a few little wheels that buzz round on this side when we start it up – but what glorious or frightful processes we are initiating in there, we don’t know.”

Please dear reader, you really must read whole letter to Mary Neylan here: http://tinyurl.com/7my76fs

Joy’s Cancer Returns


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