Marriage of convenience by Martin Luther


Martin Luther known as great German reformer. Luther’s translation of the Bible has played an important role in forming national German language. He was a supporter of moderate burgher Reformation. According to his views, the source of religious truth is not “sacred tradition” but the Gospel itself. These requirements put conflict between early bourgeois ideology with the ideology of the feudal and church. Luther opposed the doctrines expressing the material interests of the German burghers, criticized the theory of natural law, the idea of early bourgeois humanism, principles of free trade.

But nobody knows that behind half of his life stands a women named Katharina von Bora. Luther decided to marry her because she had no place to go after she escaped from convent. She was 26 and he 42. There was no feelings or passion. They both performed duty to create a family for procreation and thus set an example for others priests and nuns. The aim of both was to serve God. Luther was completely immersed in religious work. They both didn’t have any inheritance or money.To feed the family Katarina had to start farming. She nursed not only cattle, but also grow wheat, breed fish in the pond. Doors of their house were always open to any who needed help. It was called “inn for the poor”. Katharine had to be not only economical and hardworking, but also harsh. Even being rigour she had kindness and mental strength to take care of everyone in the house. It is hard to imagine Martin Luther without this faithful, though harsh life partner. Contemporary young people might say that it was marriage of convenience. And I will absolutely agree with them. But the only problem that in their marriage all benefit received God.

What an amazing example of family life in Christ. How wonderful that Luther did not look for “special” or “suitable” girl. He married the one that God sent him. Nowadays I see young people running around looking for that unique one that will make him to give up the beautiful bachelor life. Or the one that will be able to offer him something that he needed.

Some of you might think that I’m too young to judge other families. But please, read my view as an independent realist looking on marriage only from Bibles point.

I always was curious about marriage. You know at weddings I always imagined how this couple will live. Imagined them in 10 or 20 years. And you know sometimes I was completely right! Lets look at simple example of a couple : she is a young girl about 18-19 and he is in his early 20th. He is an active church member, doing children ministry and preaching . The problem is that he just came to God and his faith is based on passion. She is a beautiful girl knows what she wants. Not active at church but she has a lot of friends and seems to be popular in some circle’s. I remember sitting at their wedding and thinking that its a pity church will lose such passion member. No, he will not leave church but he will become invisible. You might noticed these symptoms. At first they are too happy after marriage to go to church or do church activities. They spent all time together. After this period they quickly began to make their life more comfortable or get deep in their hobbies like traveling or sport or etc. And again there is no time for church because marriage is so busy! After they have kids or build their own house. And we all know that this is very busy.. By the time they try to serve God fully and get involved in church activities they are in their 40-60th. And of course its not successful because they spent half of life on something else. You can change husband and wifes position in this story. Usually it will end same. But also Ive seen other marriages when he has leading strong positions in faith and she gave her life to God. After wedding they try to spend all time they have in church. They go to missions together, work with kids and you can see that their goal to be with God. To become bigger ans stronger as they become a family.

If couple together has a goal to draw closer to God. Then not the family, not job, not building house will not be able to stop them from doing this. Same with Luther and Katharine. Their marriage was not built on passion, romance, or butterflies in the stomach.  The idea of building a family was to become closer to God together. That is the best ever foundation that can be laid in creating family.


9 thoughts on “Marriage of convenience by Martin Luther

  1. Luther also grew to hold his wife in the highest esteem and affection. He referred to her as “Kitty, my rib.” One of his famous quotes was, ““Let the wife make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Thanks for this interesting insight on marriage.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, I’m impressed with your excellent blog and lively writing style. Especially considering it’s your second language.

    With regard to this post, I’m a little bit skeptical about the “lack of passion” idea. I think many religious histories spin reality into a kind of pretty myth. I mean, when you think about it, they did not have artificial insemination back then. So Luther (and his wife) must have been physically aroused.


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