Eine Hochzeit Predigt, Uber den Spruch zun…
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Wittenberg: Hans Weiss, 1531
This is a wedding sermon preached by Martin Luther for an unnamed couple on January 8, 1531, on Hebrews 13:4: “Marriage should be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will punish whores and adulterers.” Luther’s sermon is a dark warning, at a presumably joyous occasion, to beware the temptations of boredom, curiosity, and shameful lust as threats to the sanctity of married life.
Luther wrote: “Those who are outside the marital estate and lead immoral lives, such as pimps, think marriage is nothing, but they despise and denigrate both God’s word and this estate, no matter how pious they pretend to be.” The married couple “are to make sure that they are careful to keep the marriage bed pure and unstained, which means that the wife keeps to her husband and the husband lets himself be contented with his wife.” Where this does not happen, God’s word, the beautiful jewel, is befouled with the devil’s filth and the marital bed is stained…” If, instead, one is mindful of God’s word, it will “create fear and hesitation, or actually loathing and horror” at the thought of adultery.
God’s word “will adorn your wife, so that even if she is hideous and hostile, impatient and obstinate, she will be more dear to you because of the word, and will please you more than if she were adorned with vanity and gold.” From the gutter of adultery and the horror of an odious wife, Luther elevates and edifies the beset husband: “For no adornment is above the Word of God, through which you look upon your wife as a gift from God.”