I’ve got marriage on my mind today as we prepare to gather this evening to celebrate Abby and Nathan’s wedding. One little gift I have given them is a copy of J.R. Miller’s The Wedded Life, a sweet little book he wrote for just such an occasion. This particular copy was given to a couple in 1906 and contains the signatures of all those who attended their ceremony over a century ago. I love that it will be present in the early days of their marriage as well. Here’s just a small snippet of the wise counsel Miller offers in his book.
No marriage is complete, which does not unite and blend the wedded lives at every point. This can be secured only by making every interest common to both. Let both hearts throb with the same joy and share each pang of sorrow. Let the same burdens rest on the shoulders of both. Let the whole life be made common.
In another sense still, should their lives blend. They should read and study together, having the same line of thought, helping each other toward a higher mental culture.
They should worship together, praying side by side, communing on the holiest themes of life and hope, and together carrying to God’s feet the burdens of their hearts for their children and for every precious object. Why should they not talk together of their personal trials, their peculiar temptations, their infirmities, and help each other by sympathy, by brave word and by intercession, to be victorious in living?
Thus they should live one life as it were, not two. Every plan and hope of each should embrace the other. The moment a man begins to leave his wife out of any part of his life—or that she has plans, hopes, pleasures, friendships or experiences from which she excludes him—there is peril in the home. They should have no secrets which they keep from each other.
Thus their two lives should blend in one life with no thought, no desire, no feeling, no joy or sorrow, no pleasure or pain, unshared.