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William Booth: marriage is a partnership

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William and Catherine Booth, circa 1902

The book Letters to Salvationists on Love, Marriage, and Home, also known as Volume II of Religion for Every Day, was written in 1902 by General William Booth. The book is full of practical advice on how to choose a marriage partner and how to live together in harmony. The following excerpt comes from Chapter 12, entitled The Relations of Husband and Wife.

“Another view of Marriage, and the one which the true Salvationist will entertain, is that of a Partnership. It is a union of body, of mind, and of soul, involving obligations and privileges on both sides. The Marriage vow only marks the consent of that union. God’s plan is, that the two beings thus united, shall grow, more and more, into each other, as the days and years go by, until they are as one.

Who has not noticed the marvelous resemblance that the husband and wife, who have been long united, often bear to one another? I have wondered why this should be so again and again. Perhaps it may be, that looking for so long a period at each other with loving eyes, transforms the very features to the likeness of the one so much beloved. Anyway, I have often observed it. And then, as to mind and heart, we all know how husbands and wives, who continue to live in true love, affection, and real agreement, for any considerable period, not only come to think and speak, but also to feel alike, with regard to matters in which they are both interested.

They are united. They are partners in the same concern—partners in the business, if there is one—partners in the house, together with its cares and worries—partners in the children, if children there be—partners in the soul–saving work, and also in the souls that are won—partners in the joys and pains, the smiles and tears, the profits and losses of the life below—and partners in the never–ending rewards and triumphs of the life above. Marriage is indeed a real partnership.”

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