What a Young Husband Ought to Know
Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 179
Publication Date: 1899
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Sylvanus Stall was a United States Lutheran pastor who wrote quite a few books on sex education and the dangers of masturbation. Chapters include: The Relation of Marriage; Differences of Sex; Essentials in Husband and Home; The Physical Cost of Procreation; Marital Moderation; Defects and Deficiencies; Purity and Fidelity; The Bride; The Care of the Bride; The Young Wife and Motherhood, and more.
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The young man who marries finds himself in an entirely new relation in life. Grand as life may have been in the past, the present and the future are full of new meaning, of grander possibilities and of larger blessing. God has meant that love should come to man to glorify life and to lift the lower nature of husband and wife into higher realms of thought and being; to transform, deepen, broaden and soften. In them love becomes the potent source of mightiest inspirations. The husband's duty seemed formerly to be to care, to arrange and to provide only for himself. Now he has assumed additional responsibilities. He is no longer to live for himself, but for his wife, his children, and in a larger sense for his descendants—for the good of the race. He is to continue by transmitting himself, that life may remain when he is gone. What he does involves the interests of his wife, and of those who are to come after him. Love is to conquer selfishness. He is to rise above himself, and the present good and future happiness of others are to constitute his well-being.
His present and future happiness will be dependent upon a clear apprehension of the fact that what he is will determine what his descendants are to be after him. He should comprehend the fullest meaning of what is taught in the statement that "we are part of all the people whom we have met," the result of past influences and previous life. What we have been and are, that we transmit. The responsibilities, are grave, but the state of two congenial souls made one in happy marriage is the grandest and most blessed earthly condition conferred upon man by God himself. It meets the requirements of our being, and, when properly understood and faithfully conformed to, brings the largest happiness that mortals are capable of upon earth. Husband and wife, parents and child, home and country, form the centre of all that makes life dear.
The purest, noblest and most unselfish aspirations and purposes derive their strength and being from the sweet influences which have their beginning and their continuance in this power which draws men and women together in happy and holy wedlock. By these sweet influences the most perfect natures are moulded and ennobled. By them are formed the strongest ties that hold humanity to the accomplishment of every high and holy endeavor. Where the mind has continued pure, and the character untarnished, and the life unsullied by the touch of social evil, the sexual impulse does not die in that cradle of our being where God has given it birth but marches like a mighty conqueror, arousing and marshalling the mightiest human forces in every department of man's nature. It formulates his purpose, quickens his imagination, and calls into exercise his united powers in the attainment of the world's greatest and grandest achievements in art, in letters, in inventions, in philosophy, in philanthropy, and in every effort that is to secure the universal blessing of mankind.
It is under the awakening of the reproductive life that the fields put on their verdure, the flowers unfold their beauty and fragrance, the birds put on their brightest plumage and sing their sweetest song, while the chirp of the cricket, the note of the katydid, is but the call to its mate—for the many-tongued voices which break the stillness of field and forest are but the myriad notes of love. To this universal, God-given passion, man owes his love of color, his love of beauty and sweetness in art and music, his love of rhythm in poetry, of grace in form, in painting, in sculpture; and from it not only springs the love of the beautiful, but even the perception and recognition of all that which is pleasing and lovely.
This is the emotion that strengthens every faculty, quickens every power, animates, modifies, ennobles, purifies and sweetens the entire being, and makes our life upon earth, when directed by godly purposes, the unfolding and enriching of those nobler powers of the soul which are to find their fullest fruition and perfection in heaven itself.
While these powers may all be kept in abeyance until financial, social, religious and other requirements can be adequately met, yet there is a proper time for their full expression and purposed exercise. While God has meant that reason should rule over passion, and that every sexual impulse should yield to other requirements and activities, yet He has wisely purposed that these leadings of our nature should be pronounced and strong. If these sentiments and emotions were not strong—very strong indeed—no man, knowing the risks and dangers which are liable to arise because of incompatibility of temper, mistaken estimates of physical, intellectual and moral qualifications, would take upon himself the responsibilities, incur the risks, augment his expenses, and assume the far-reaching obligations which are involved when two are united, "for better or for worse," in indissoluble bonds for life.
Were not the sentiment and emotions strong in woman, as well as in man, what woman would assume the responsibilities of wife and mother? Whatever man is required to give up, to endure, to suffer, to risk, even more seems to fall to the lot of woman. Were it not for strong sentiment and moving emotion, what woman would commit her entire future to the keeping of any man? Where is one who would assume the pains and perils of maternity, with the subsequent possibility of being left by the death of her husband with a family of dependent children?
If the young husband desires in marriage the joys and blessings with which God has crowned this relation, he need not seek the immolation of his sexual nature, but he does need to subordinate his sexual passion to the reign of reason and the government of the moral sense. He cannot afford to ignore the rights, the comfort and the wishes of his wife. If he looks upon marriage as an easy means of securing self-indulgence, as affording a safe and lawful means for unbridled gratification, he is doomed to disappointment and to misery. If passion is to be enthroned where God ordained that none but love should reign, then anarchy with all its attendant horrors must, and surely will, desolate the heart, the home and the life; for lust can filch but cannot enjoy the pleasures and blessings of this heaven-ordained relation, which are reserved only for the pure, who live under the domain and rule of love and reason.
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