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The Twofold Purpose of Marriage

February 18, 2020
By Martin Luther

Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, .... "Take as your wife . . . one of the daughters of Laban your mother's brother."

GENESIS 28:1-2

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The Twofold Purpose of Marriage

Christians should so prepare themselves and so arrange their life that they do not consider marriage a rash or fortuitous matter depending on our judgment and a fortuitous outcome but regard it as a lawful and divine union. Clear proof of this is the fact that God created man and woman, and that neither a man alone nor a woman alone is born, but that both man and woman are born. Therefore this union has its origin in the first birth, and for this reason it is truly lawful and divine. Furthermore, God did not institute marriage for the sake of lust and the pleasures of the flesh. This is not the final cause, but marriage serves a twofold purpose: in the first place, to be a remedy against lust; in the second place—and this is more important—to be a source and origin of the human race, in order that offspring may be born and the human race may be propagated, or, as the jurists say, to replenish the city. But from the Holy Scriptures one should add the purpose of bringing up children in the discipline and fear of the Lord, in order that they may be equipped to govern the church and the state.

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