C.S. Lewis's Ideal Marriage Essay

2075 words - 9 pages

The ideal marriage, to C.S. Lewis, is one that strives to truly reflect Christianity’s most righteous example of marriage, Christ and His church. To C.S. Lewis, this entailed three main characteristics, selflessness, gender roles within marriage, and permanency. As we take a closer look into the specific ideals of each point, many discrepancies arise from renowned philosophers and critics. To begin, the ideal marriage, according to C.S. Lewis, involves that of selflessness. This quintessential element of marriage mirrors Christ’s perfect example of selflessly sacrificing Himself for His people and how the church attempts to praise and worship God. However, this component of marriage was not taken lightly within society as many philosophers and critics disagreed with Lewis’s argument of sacrificial love. For instance, Ayn Rand’s philosophy clearly supports egoism and self-interest, over altruism, for the betterment of life. Moreover, C.S. Lewis takes into consideration such passages as Ephesians 5:22-23, which states “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” This means that marriage is made to be between one woman and one man, with a certain hierarchy of the relationship based on the righteous example of Christ and His church. Yet, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche vehemently argues for power as the will to life, and thus, without this basic natural element of life, the individual would become weak and poor with no chance of survival. Furthermore, C.S. Lewis speaks highly towards the permanency of a marriage; unlike philosophers such as Jose Ortega y Gasset who advocates divorce if it allows for individual happiness. Overall, C.S. Lewis promotes the vision that marriage should always reflect Biblical callings, encourage faithfulness and support the basic Christian theology of Christ being the center. However, Lewis not only advocates for Christian benefits but also for the experiences and a nurturing environment that emerge in marriage. Therefore, C.S. Lewis calls on Christians to create and nurture a marriage between one man and one woman, coming together in faith till death do them part.
As C.S. Lewis spoke of Christian marriage he never failed to mention the perfect example of Christ and His church. For instance, Lewis states “When we truly give ourselves in marriage, we give ourselves over to the example of Christ and his church.” This example has been given to us within the Scriptures, such as Ephesians 5:22-23, which states “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” In other words, women are to mirror the church’s submission to God, as men are to reflect Jesus’ love for the church. Thus, Lewis argues that we must use these roles, which reflect Christ and the church’s example, as the standard for...

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