Some Reflections on Marriage from G.K. Chesterton


“If Americans can be divorced for “incompatibility of temper” I cannot conceive why they are not all divorced. I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable. For a man and a woman, as such, are incompatible.”~G.K. Chesterton: ‘What’s Wrong With the World.’

I get married in forty days. I couldn’t be more excited and I couldn’t be more scared. I know there is a lot I’m unprepared for; even pre-marital counseling, wonderful as it its, can’t teach us everything.One thing I do know, and one thing I trust: God’s grace is sufficient. We will have our struggles, we will frustrate one another, we will lose our tempers (though I pray not often), but by God’s grace we will get through it. Chesterton’s words are a great reminder of this. Happiness in marriage cannot be based on “compatibility of temper;” two sinners are by nature incompatible. What it can, and must, be based on is Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
May God give us the grace to do so, not only in our marriages but in all our relationships.

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