Hollywood woos us with stories of “love at first sight” and “happily after ever,” but the reality is that the “two become one” of marriage is a continuous, lifelong process, rather than an instantaneous flip of a switch. In some seasons, this movement toward becoming one feels effortless.
In others, it is a choppy two-steps-forward-one-step-back.
Martin considered Katharina arrogant when he first met her. Years into his own marriage, Martin Luther acknowledged the challenges inherent in matrimony.
“Marriage does not always run smoothly, it is a chancy thing,” he admitted to those gathered around his and Katharina’s dining room table.
Refusing to marry the suitor Martin had lined up for her, she made a daring suggestion instead: She proposed that the great Reformer marry her himself.
Neither Martin Luther nor Katharina von Bora married each other for love.
When they married, the Luthers faced formidable opposition from friends and foes alike.In his last letter to her before he died, Martin told Katharina he was bringing home the gift of a trout—perhaps not the most romantic gesture by 21st-century standards, but for a wife and mother responsible for growing, raising, and catching the food she prepared for the table each day, it would have been a welcome and appreciated gift indeed.Katharina and Martin sacrificed for one another, nurtured each other, and were willing to be inconvenienced for each other.Each had an agenda the day they crossed the threshold of their home for the first time as husband and wife.Katharina wed in order to survive in a world hostile to women; Martin married out of a sense of obligation to Katharina, as well as to put into practice the theology of marriage he had so passionately preached.