One-liners Hauerwas 03: Valentine edition

“Love [is] an insufficient basis for a couple to think that they should be married.” (210)

“Love, particularly in its early stages, is intoxicating and isolating. You are so absorbed in the sheer wonder of the one you love that it seems unnecessary for anyone else to exist.” (210)

On Paula, his wife, when they were still dating: “She was sure she was called to ministry. She was not sure she was called to be married. The very fact that she used the language of ‘calling’ with regard to marriage indicated that she was different.” (212)

Thus, he found a problem when he wanted to marry her and waited for her answer, as actually he agreed with her that marriage is a calling: “Yoder had persuaded me that singleness was the first way of life for Christians. To be a Christian means you do not have to marry of have a child. The church is constituted by a people who grow through witness and conversion, not through biological ascription. A church in which the single rather than the married bear the burden of proof is one that inexorably legitimates violence in the name of protecting ‘our’ children from those who think they need to kill to protect ‘their’ children. The problem is not children, but the possessive pronouns.” (214) He must accept, then, if she is not called to marriage.

(Eventually, they got married. But, seriously, it is a wonderful story because too often people assumes that you need to justify why you are single. On the other hand, you don’t need to do so if you are married. And I think it is unfair, harmful, and, as Yoder pointed out, theologically inaccurate.)

“We wanted our marriage to be part of the liturgy. There was a full procession with a crucifer. Adam [his son from the previous marriage with a mentally ill wife; a very sad tale] carried high the Scripture. Students from the divinity school had volunteered to be a choir. Will [Willimon, his good friend] preached, making reference to the lion and lamb lying together, which elicited an unexpected uproar of laughter from those gathered to witness our marriage. We exchange vows. Nancy Ferree-Clark celebrated the Eucharist.” (219) The reference is very funny. And, could we have a Anglican/Roman liturgy in GPBB?

“[C]hristians are people who know what to do when something goes wrong. Accordingly, Christians should understand marriage as an institution of resolving conflict, and marriage should be structured toward that end.” In the memo, Yoder observed that ‘the commitment to hanging together, i.e., lifelong fidelity, is a prerequisite for taking conflict resolution seriously: otherwise every conflict becomes an occasion for fantasies of escape.'” (243) Thus, marriage does not mean sharing your life with the ‘right’ person. Rather, it actually means readiness to resolve conflicts when they come. In marriage, you commit yourself to forgive and reconcile with your spouse.

Sorry if these quotes didn’t live up to your expectation!

By the way, if you are confused to find what to say for today’s occasion, just recite Songs 4.7 or 7.6!


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