Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Natural Reason versus Faith

This blog post I'm linking to is very old, but someone I know just mentioned it on Google Plus last week, so I saw it for the first time. On the other hand, it consists of some of Martin Luther's words, and those are older still. But what struck me is how appropriate they are for the times in which we live. I encourage you to go read the whole quote, but for my purposes here, I'll just say that Luther compares those who live by natural reason against those who live by Christian faith in the context of marriage and children. In natural reason, according to Luther, caring for a wife and dealing with a smelly baby who needs his diapers changed is abhorrent and something to be avoided. On the other hand, the Christian sees even the lowest of service as pleasing to God, and so he is glad to do the most menial of tasks for his wife and children.

It really struck me how Luther, writing from nearly 500 years ago, captured the spirit of our age so accurately. I've been seeing people that don't even want to live with another person anymore, because it's too much work and hassle. The other person doesn't do his fair share of the chores, plus you have to deal with his bad habits, and work around his schedule, etc. It's much easier, they say, to just maintain your separate abodes. Get together at one person's place for the evening, have dinner, watch a movie, have sex, and then you both live your own separate lives until you feel like sharing time with that person again. And having sex, of course. The natural man wants all the pleasures life can give him, but not any of the work or unpleasantness.

This so relates to being a stay-at-home mom, too. Modern feminists insist that getting a job outside the home is infinitely preferable to staying home and doing the things Luther talks about: making beds, washing diapers, taking care of the baby when he cries. Of course, you then have to turn around and hire someone to do those things, but somehow that is seen as acceptable. I've never seen anywhere how feminists view those women, the ones who are working but are doing those menial tasks that other women are too good to do. It might be interesting to find that out.

I find it sad that people are willing to forgo the benefits that marriage and children can bring, because there are lots of benefits. In fact, I could even suggest that the good one acquires not only outweighs the bad, but is better than the fleeting pleasures that the perpetually single-by-their-own-choice find, simply because the work required is more difficult. And in loving someone else despite the frailties, weaknesses, and times when the other person simply messes up, we find someone who loves us despite our frailties, weaknesses, and times when we just mess up. There is a true beauty there.

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