“Sometimes we have seen a model marriage, founded in pure love and cemented in mutual esteem. Therein the husband acts as a tender head; and the wife, as a true spouse, delights in her husband, in his person, his character, his affection.
To her he is not only the chief and foremost of mankind, but in her eyes he is all in all, her heart’s love belongs to him and to him only. She finds sweetest contentment and solace in his company, his fellowship, his fondness. He is her little world, her paradise, her choice treasure. To please him she would gladly lay aside her own pleasure, to find it doubled in gratifying him. She is glad to sink her individuality in his.
She seeks no name for herself; his honor is reflected upon her, and she rejoices in it. She would defend his name with her dying breath, safe enough is he where she can speak for him.
The domestic circle is her kingdom. That she may there create happiness and comfort is her lifework, and his smiling gratitude is all the reward she seeks. Even in her dress she thinks of him, without constraint she consults his taste, and thinks nothing beautiful which is obnoxious to his eye.
A tear from his eye, because of any unkindness on her part, would grievously torment her. She asks not how her behavior may please a stranger, or how another’s judgment may be satisfied with her behavior; let her beloved be content and she is glad. He has many objects in life, some of which she does not quite understand, but she believes in them all, and anything that she can do to promote them she delights to perform.
He lavishes love on her and she on him. Their object in life is common. There are points where their affections so intimately unite that none could tell which is first and which is second.
To see their children growing up in health and strength, to see them holding posts of usefulness and honor, is their mutual concern; in this and other matters they are fully one. Their wishes blend, their hearts are indivisible. By degrees they come very much to think the same thoughts. Intimate association creates conformity; we have known this to become so complete that at the same moment the same utterance has leaped to both their lips.
At last the two are so welded, so engrafted on one stem, that their old age presents a lovely attachment, a common sympathy, by which its infirmities are greatly alleviated, and its burdens are transformed into fresh bonds of love. So happy a union of will, sentiment, thought, and heart exists between them, that the two streams of their life have washed away the dividing bank, and run on as one broad current of united existence, until their common joy falls into the main ocean of felicity.
Happy woman and happy man! If heaven be found on earth they have it! Such a sight may not be commonly seen, but it is inexpressibly beautiful.”
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