Adapted to Each Other. --In many families there is not that Christian
politeness, that true courtesy, deference, and respect for one another that
would prepare its members to marry and make happy families of their own. In the
place of patience, kindness, tender courtesy, and Christian sympathy and love,
there are sharp words, clashing ideas, and a criticizing, dictatorial spirit.
It is often the case that persons before marriage have little opportunity to
become acquainted with each other's habits and disposition; and, so far as
everyday life is concerned, they are virtually strangers when they unite their
interests at the altar. Many find, too late, that they are not adapted to each
other, and lifelong wretchedness is the result of their union. Often the wife
and children suffer from the indolence and inefficiency or the vicious habits of
the husband and father.
The world is full of misery and sin today in consequence of ill-assorted
marriages. In many cases it takes only a few months for husband and wife to
realise that their dispositions can never blend; and the result is that discord
prevails in the home, where only the love and harmony of heaven should exist.
By contention over trivial matters a bitter spirit is cultivated. Open
disagreements and bickering bring inexpressible misery into the home and drive
asunder those who should be united in the bonds of love. Thus thousands have
sacrificed themselves, soul and body, by unwise marriages and have gone down in
the path of perdition.
Perpetual Differences in a Divided Home. --The happiness and prosperity of
the married life depend upon the unity of the parties. How can the carnal mind
harmonise with the mind that is assimilated to the mind of Christ? One is sowing
to the flesh, thinking and acting in accordance with the promptings of his own
heart; the other is sowing to the Spirit, seeking to repress selfishness, to
overcome inclination, and to live in obedience to the Master, whose servant he
professes to be. Thus there is a perpetual difference of taste, of inclination,
and of purpose. Unless the believer shall, through his steadfast adherence to
principle, win the impenitent, he will, as is much more common, become
discouraged and sell his religious principles for the poor companionship of one
who has no connection with Heaven.
Marriages Wrecked by Incompatibility. --Many marriages can only be productive
of misery; and yet the minds of the youth run in this channel because Satan
leads them there, making them believe that they must be married in order to be
happy, when they have not the ability to control themselves or support a family.
Those who are not willing to adapt themselves to each other's disposition, so as
to avoid unpleasant differences and contentions, should not take the step. But
this is one of the alluring snares of the last days, in which thousands are
ruined for this life and the next.
The Aftermath of Blind Love. --Every faculty of those who become affected by
this contagious disease-- blind love--is brought in subjection to it. They seem
to be devoid of good sense, and their course of action is disgusting to all who
behold it. . . . With many the crisis of the disease is reached in an immature
marriage, and when the novelty is past and the bewitching power of love-making is over, one
or both parties awake to their true situation. They then find themselves
ill-mated, but united for life. Bound to each other by the most solemn vows,
they look with sinking hearts upon the miserable life they must lead. They ought
then to make the best of their situation, but many will not do this. They will
either prove false to their marriage vows or make the yoke which they persisted
in placing upon their own necks so very galling that not a few cowardly put an
end to their existence.
It should henceforth be the life study of both husband and wife how to avoid
everything that creates contention and to keep unbroken the marriage vows.
Experience of Others a Warning. --Mr. A has a nature that Satan plays upon
with wonderful success. This case is one that should teach the young a lesson in
regard to marriage. His wife followed feeling and impulse, not reason and
judgement, in selecting a companion. Was their marriage the result of true love?
No, no; it was the result of impulse--blind, unsanctified passion. Neither was
at all fitted for the responsibilities of married life. When the novelty of the
new order of things wore away, and each became acquainted with the other, did
their love become stronger, their affection deeper, and their lives blend
together in beautiful harmony? It was entirely the opposite. The worst traits of
their characters began to deepen by exercise; and, instead of their married life
being one of happiness, it has been one of increasing trouble.
For years I have been receiving letters from different persons who have
formed unhappy marriages, and the revolting histories opened before me are
enough to make the heart ache. It is no easy thing to decide what advice can be given to
these unfortunate ones, or how their hard lot can be lightened; but their sad
experience should be a warning to others.