Tuesday, February 27, 2018

My best read on marriage

One of the good things I found in California was the loan of this great book.


My Amazon review.

The best book on complementarity I have read though published in 1965 I do not think it uses the word. The author was a married episcopal clergyman with a family six.He knew whereof he wrote. His style may at first strike one as eccentric and verbose but hang in there. The man is a genius on this subject. Do not be put of by his his churchmanship. Marriage is not as he believes "a very great sacrament'.  Divorce is not 'a metaphysical impossibility'. His is Catholic marriage theology. mine is Protestant reformed with marriage a covenant which may be broken by persistent unrepentant failure to keep vows. However this disagreement takes nothing from the profound teaching herein given on all matters bed and board, husband, wife and children. I think he is weak on hospitality and surprisingly reticent on child rearing but on the fundamentals of marriage this is genius. One reviewer could not tolerate his sexism. Rot. This man is a counter cultural Christian who speaks truth not discerned from the prevailing culture but from the Bible and the wisdom of the ages. He wrote before the electronic age but that is no deficit. His world had no internet but it has real communication between people. Read and learn. Publisher reprint please.


We get too sook old and too late smart, but with a loving God and forgiving friends, I am grateful and glad. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 18

The Christian mind has lo these many years been pretty well switched off as far as ordinary life is concerned. ...Of course in religion and morals it has tried to do its own cooking; but across the rest of life - schooling, housing, marrying; working, playing, spending- it has been content to buy whatever packaged mixes were available on the shelves of the secular idea market. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 33

About sex especially men are born mad; and they hardly reach sanity until they reach sanctity.- G K Chesterton quoted in - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 48

For a nun's life of course is utterly sexual....Of course, she omits as an offering to God,one particular expression of her sexuality; but it is only one out of a hundred. The sexual congress she does not attend is not life's most important meeting, all the marriage manuals to the contrary notwithstanding. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 49

...the Bible does not say that men and women are unequal. Neither does the church. There are no second class citizens in the New Jerusalem. It is husbands and wives that are unequal. It is precisely in marriage (a state, you will recall, not to be continued as such in heaven) that they enter into a relationship of superior to inferior,- of head to a body. And the difference there is not one of worth, ability to intelligence, but of role. It is functional not organic.It is based on the exigencies of the Dance not on a judgement as to talent.In the ballet, in any intricate dance, one dancer leads, the other follows. Not because one is better (he may or may not be), but because that is his part. Our mistake here, as elsewhere, is to think that equality and diversity are irreconcilable. The common notion of equality is based on the image of the march. In a parade, really unequal beings are dressed alike, given guns of identical length, trained to hold them at the same angle, and ordered to keep step with a fixed beat. But it is not the parade that is true to life, it is the dance. There you have real equals assigned unequal roles in order that each may achieve his individual perfection in the whole. Nothing is less personal than a parade; nothing more so than a dance. It is the choice image of fulfillment through function, and it comes very close to the heart of the Trinity. Marriage is a hierarchical game played bu co-equal persons.Keep that paradox and you move in the freedom of the Dance; alter, and you grow weary with marching. - - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 53-54.

...it is husbands who have done the most damage. , and it is they, who can if they will, do the most good. If the train doesn't move , repair the locomotive. Don't let the cars sit around blaming themselves for not being engines. Above all, don't let them try to act as if they were. For the cars have their own function, they are what the train is really about.They are what the engine is for.All the space in a husband is supposed to be given over to providing traction; it is the wife's capacity for freight that makes the trip worthwhile. The comparison is hardly flattering, but it does manage to be a bit gallant and, and as a husband, I am rather pleased that I was able to get it off. One should try to practice what one preaches, with or without elegance. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 57
Father's day is a joke and a commercially motivated one at that. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 58

Fathers provoke not your children to wrath ....Develop a passion for fairness. It you overdo anything, make it that. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 61

Children love fat mothers. They like them because while any mother is a diagram of place, a picture of home, a atone is a clearer diagram, a greater sacrament. She is more there. I can think of to better wish to all the slender swans of this present age, than to propose them a toast: May your husbands find your s slim as they like; your children should always remember you were fat. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 66

He who perished by a tree is saved by a tree. He who died by an apple is restored by eating the flesh of his Saviour. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 69-70

The vow of lifelong fidelity to one bed. one woman, becomes the wall at the edge of the cliff that leaves the children free to play a little, rather than to be lost at large. marriage gives us somewhere to be. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 70

Only Christian marriage has a chance to save nature. Not that mine is very natural - it can't be, because it isn't very Christian; but the truth remains. The disciple is not above his master; the Cross is foolishness, and the marriage bed is absurd. That much rings true. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 72

A man can give his wife is little besides trouble. He makes a life of hard labour for he, prompts most of her available time by begetting children upon her, and then leaves he alone with the whole business for the greater part of every working day. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 75

People admit that it's hard to pray. Yet they think it's way to make love. What nonsense. Neither is worth much when it is only the outcropping of intermittent enthusiasm. Both need to be done with out ceasing;- Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 76
Sexual intercourse is indeed society (though often not too mutual) , and it is certainly a comfort, when it goes well; but it is seldom much help unless its disasterousness is softened by a vast amount of incidental tenderness. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 76

Romance as the justification for marriage is pretty much a folk invention of less than eight hundred years 'standing. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p81

I have a sneaking suspicion that all this straight-faced piety about sexuality misses one of the Creator's most brilliant bits of humour. The body uses the same general equipment for both lovemaking and plumbing. Desire and drainage are hilariously close. I think that's a hint to take it lightly. ... It's a movement of the dance , not the be-all and end-all of the dancers. Omitting it doesn't stop the show. There's nothing wrong with mutual agreed abstinence if honestly tried. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 89

God himself spread his table. But Judas sat down at it. - Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p 94

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