The Marriage of David Livingstone

A few years ago Doreen Moore wrote a gem of a book entitled Good Christians, Good Husbands? It deals with three marriages: one ugly, one so-so and one great. The ugly one was that of John Wesley and Molly Vazeille—a terrible marriage, much of it Wesley’s fault. The so-so was the marriage of George Whitefield and his wife Elizabeth James—he really married to have a housekeeper! Then there was the sparkling “uncommon union” of Jonathan Edwards and Sarah Pierpont. Wow what a marriage! Thought of this as I read the following “Friday rambling” of Tim Challies:

“I read a biography of David Livingstone this week and drew out a couple of quotes. The first is taken from a letter he wrote to a friend in which he described his fiancee (soon to be his wife). He described her as “not a romantic. Mine is a matter of fact lady, a little thick black haired girl, sturdy and all I want.” I guess it’s a good thing she was not a romantic for clearly Livingstone was not either!” (Friday Ramblings).

Of course, some might say it was a good thing for Livingstone’s intended that she was not a romantic, since he thought of nothing of prolonged peregrinations in Africa without her. Personally, I think such men should not get married—they only bring disrepute on the holy institution. There must be fire and passion, or why get married?