What Is Temperance In Marriage?
Temperance – the great moderator between restraint and excess can truly be a good friend in balancing and ordering our marriage appropriately. I’m sure many couples find that temperance often starts in the decision making process. This means planning and appropriately moderating decisions for the family; whether that pertains to spending and saving money, the best use of our time, and the situations we place ourselves in and the company we keep.
As hard as it can be to use restraint in holding off on a vacation or a desperately longed for leisure activity, addressing spiritual restraint (especially in areas where it is lacking) certainly brings the marriage discussion to a whole new level.
We have found in our marriage that it is helpful to regularly reflect on how decisions and created goods are reflecting our love of God. Sometimes it’s just innocent joy or leisure time together, while at other times it may be the subtle invasion of destructive and divisive worldly passions, or bad company.
When Temperance Hits Home
I know that many times I get caught up in not wanting to hurt other people’s feelings, and because of this my spouse and family have suffered the bad influence or unwanted presence of others. It took the reminder of a good friend recently, to rightly order my perspective – that my vocation requires me to protect and give the best of myself to my family, and by God, I owe them that above even my friendship to others.
Temperance is often viewed as a very personal virtue – most likely because it brings about discussion of addiction, money, and base immorality. These are certainly not recommended dinner conversations. But the virtue of temperance is also far more than restraint, and I hope you find it unavoidable in cultivating a healthy marriage, which continues to grow toward the good throughout its years.
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