My dear Jack, I’m sure you’ve heard about The Seven Deadly Sins. They’re the stuff of legend in Hollywood. There’s even a movie with that title, though of a disturbing nature. The movie is about a psychopath. (Why do they always have those psychopaths for these things?) The seven deadly sins are Solomonic actually. They are the seven abominations. Though “The Parson’s Tale” in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as well as artworks like Dante’s Purgatory, help illustrate the sins. If you want to have a successful marriage you have to be mindful of the seven deadly sins.
The seven deadly sins are gula (gluttony), fornicatio (fornication), avaritia (avarice), superbia (pride), tristitia (envy), ira (wrath) and vanagloria (boasting). These are Latinate. The first deadly sin is gluttony. You expose yourself through gluttony. It’s a dangerous lack of gastronomical governance. You may shorten your lifespan through gluttony. There are health challenges. And when you’re gone the marriage is gone. The second deadly sin is fornication. It can expose you to venereal diseases. There’s the possibility of blackmail with adultery. Not to talk of the untidiness of having a child out of wedlock. God help you if the lady is of a vicious disposition. You’re stuck with that lady for life. And you may lose your marriage. It’s just untidy. You have a lot of explaining to do. The third deadly sin is avarice. Avarice is dangerous. The love of money is the root of all evil. Avarice opens you to evil. Get out of the rat race, you’re not a rat. Trying to be like the Joneses will only get you into trouble. Don’t do what you can’t afford. The fourth deadly sin is pride. When there’s pride quarrels can’t be easily settled in a marriage. Ego gets in the way. The fifth deadly sin is envy. The envy of spouse is deadly. It means you can’t appreciate your spouse, can’t celebrate her accomplishments. You’ll be seeking control. She can’t be free to be all she can be. Aspirations will become a problem in the home. In a marriage envy can easily develop into hatred. It’s why you run from any notion of it. Hatred grotesques the hater. The sixth deadly sin is wrath. Wrath leads to violence. Violence can result in murder. There’s the issue of emotional abuse in marriage. It is the very antithesis of marriage. The seventh deadly sin is boasting. But love is not boastful or proud.
By some account there’s an eighth deadly sin and that is dejection. It’s also known as moodiness. Moodiness is a dangerous emotion. It shouldn’t be romanced. It is a dark malevolent spirit. Moodiness brings darkness to a home, invites the spirit of melancholy and depression. It’s the death of happiness. The first thing a melancholic spirit does is exile joy from a marriage. Then depression assumes authority. Depression is very dangerous. It’s why we must not joke with moodiness. There are healthier emotional tools. Work hard to avoid the seven deadly sins in your marriage, you and your spouse. But that eighth deadly sin is also translated sloth in some accounts. It’s acedia in Latin. A man can’t afford to be lazy, especially a married man. A married man has responsibilities. He must be up and doing trying to earn a keep for his family. There are bills to be paid – rent, food, utilities, school fees… There are familial responsibilities as well. The idea of a lazy man is dissonant to marriage. The lazy man soon loses respect in marriage.
Here are some Solomonics: “Poor is he who works with a negligent and idle hand. The hand of the diligent makes him rich.” “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.” “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” “The sluggard says, ‘There’s a lion in the road! There’s a lion in the streets.'” (Meaning the lazy man is full of excuses). “As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.”
But just as there are seven deadly sins there are also seven classical virtues. They will serve you well in marriage. The seven classical virtues are castilas (chastity), temperantia (temperance), liberalitas (generosity), industria (diligence), patientia (patience), humanitas (kindness), and humilitas (humility). You can’t go wrong with the seven classical virtues. They mitigate the seven deadly sins. Control your carnal appetite. If you don’t you will become what you never envisaged. You will surprise yourself. Control your temperament. A man must have rule over his spirit. You can’t be ruled by emotions. Be generous to your spouse. You’re being generous to yourself. Liberality enriches a home. Be diligent at your work. This will bring you respect from your family. Be patient in marriage. Patience is forbearance and tolerance. Be kind to your spouse. Kindness evokes doxological gratitude and expression of appreciation. Be humble in marriage. No one is always right. No one knows it all. Marriage is a learning curve.
The summary of the seven classical virtues is love. Love your spouse. Love constrains us, love restrains us, love encourages us, love requires courage. You have both embarked on a life journey. Make the journey a pleasant experience. Love one another. Marriage is a partnership of the soul. It is two souls in intimacy of the heart. Marriage is such a wonderful thing. If only we get “ourselves” out of the way. Be sincere with each other. Honesty deals with facts, sincerity is of the heart. I look forward to many anniversaries and I wish you both a beautiful and wonderful marriage.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org
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