Conisbrough Vicar’s Sermon – Maxims for Marriage

September 1946

South Yorkshire Times September 14, 1946

Maxims for Marriage.
Know Your Faults and Your Partners, Says Conisbrough Vicar

Maxims for wedded bliss were given by the vicar of Conisbrough, the Rev. G. F. Braithwaite, when, continuing a series of special Sunday evening talks he discussed “successful matrimony” in his sermon at the Parish Church on Sunday.

The Ingredients

The ingredients for married bliss, he said, were a realisation of the imperfections of one’s partner and of oneself, an understanding of life and a recognition of the valuable part religion can play in married life.

Placing one’s partner on a pedestal might be romantic, but it brought heartbreak, Mr Braithwaite said. If “happily ever after” then why “for better, for worse”? One should realise his or her partner’s imperfections, not in a critical spirit, but because one should realise one’s own imperfections. Failure to recognise this latter was a fruitful cause of misery. Self-esteem and self glorification were detestable in marriage as in all else. It was inconceivable that one partner was always right and the other was always wrong.

The responsibility for the unpleasant phenomenon of the conceited, self-indulgent husband or wife went back to weak parents. Parents who spoilt children were building up matrimonial bitterness for them in future years. A well disciplined child was a considerate husband or wife in adult life.

Understanding of Sex.

Discussing the subject of an understanding of sex life, Mr Braithwaite appealed to his congregation not to “get him wrong.” He did not advocate voluptuous wallowing in a sea of sex and sex psychology. Much licentiousness was imparted in the name of psychology, a magic word which excused an unhealthy interest in a natural function and help to make it sordid. Sex fulfilled the twin instincts of nutrition and reproduction and one should let them fall into natural position as instincts and learn to control them both.

Just as the appetite varied, so did the needs of individuals. As health was largely dependent on appetite control, so was it depending on the control of the sex instinct, and it was a duty to learn adjustment and control. Religion taught self-control and the overcoming by willpower and the grace of God of irregularities and handicaps. It taught sympathy and understanding, humility and the service of others; it taught cooperation, failure and faith in higher things than mere satisfaction of animal instincts and tawdry self-assertion. Marriages were unhappy and the world unhappy because the spirit of true religion was lacking. Attain a Christian religion outlook on marriage and every relationship was enriched and sanctified by the selfless idea of Him who died on the cross that they might live fully happily and at peace with God and each other.