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Whose adorning let it not be the outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on apparel: but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Husbands and wives are to dwell together according to knowledge, so that they may know what God wishes and desires, and give honour to the weak vessel, woman.If we abstain from intercourse, we give honour to our wives: if we do not abstain, it is clear that insult is the opposite of honour.So long as I do the husband’s part, I fail in continency.The same Apostle in another place commands us to pray always.Let him he says have and use his own wife, whom he had before he became a believer, and whom it would have been good not to touch, and, when once he became a follower of Christ, to know only as a sister, not as a wife unless fornication should make it excusable to touch her.

When he says likewise, he challenges the husbands to imitate their wives, because he has already given them commandment: 1 Peter 3:2-3 beholding your chaste conversation coupled with fear.He lays down the law for husbands and wives, condemns outward ornament, while he praises continence, which is the ornament of the inner man, as seen in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit.In effect he says this: Since your outer man is corrupt, and you have ceased to possess the blessing of incorruption characteristic of virgins, at least imitate the incorruption of the spirit by subsequent abstinence…Proverbs -16 The horseleech had three daughters, dearly loved, but they satisfied her not, and a fourth is not satisfied when you say Enough; the grave, and woman’s love, and the earth that is not satisfied with water, and the fire that says not, Enough.Having shared Jerome’s more tame arguments on marriage in Against Jovinianus, I thought I would share some of his more extreme arguments in the same piece.Time permitting I’ll do a follow up post with some of Augustine’s more moderate arguments.Jerome held extreme anti marriage views, but the quote above is a sentiment you will see as well from the much more moderate St.Augustine, and even fits fairly well with this argument by Pope John Paul II*.He bound himself voluntarily that he might be under compulsion to render it.Defraud ye not one the other, except it be by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves unto prayer.Fortunately, there are with whom you can form a bond with and share your faith.It all begins with creating a profile that stands out from the rest.

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