HUMOR AND HUMILITY
Since humility is the foundation for all virtue, it is not surprising
that it is the requisite for a sense of humor. Humility is the proper
and correct appraisal of ourselves. We are the creatures of God. Of
ourselves we are nothing. Whatever we are or have is from Him and
His. Because we are able to see ourselves in proper perspective, we
are able to laugh at ourselves as well as at others. Our foibles and
fancies and past blunders are a source of amusement to ourselves
as well as to others. We are not completely unremunerated
I have never forgotten the scene of a small boy crying with a
banana in his mouth and a loaf of bread under his arm. Too many
of us go through life in this comic fashion, sad-eyed-Sams with
God's blessing all about us. On the other hand many wonderful
people keep their cheerfulness with one foot in the grave and the
other on a banana peel. If sick people can remain cheerful, how
ashamed the rest of us should feel for being wet blankets.
The real difference between a gloomy Gerty and a cheerful person
is that the latter is tuned into the harmony of God's never ending
and always new symphony. The gloomy Gerty is out of tune and
full of static, a nuisance to herself and to all within earshot.
We must admit that there is an undertone of tragedy to real humor,
as is evidenced in the works of Dickens. However, a sense of
humor is productive of a cheerful attitude toward life.
The living are more attractive than the dead. The interested wife is
interesting because she is animated to the joy of living. Gayety
appeals to all. The gay wife is a pleasure to her husband. She is a
pearl of great price.
The wife who has a sense of humor will make a much more stable
wife as well as a much more lovable and desired one. She is
safeguarded against many repelling characteristics. Conceit and a
sense of humor do not get along together very well. Adolph Hitler
was not famous for a sense of humor, nor are any of the other
tyrants, who plague the world.
Some people are perfectionists. They want to do things perfectly
all the time. Because of their aim they are in a dither with
themselves and others too frequently. A wife who is a perfectionist
must watch herself. Unless she be on guard, she can easily commit
one of the mortal sins of marriage by nagging her husband. A
sense of humor will temper this tendency and save her from
becoming a veritable shrew.
Possessing a sense of humor the wife is prevented from getting too
excited over the idiosyncrasies of her husband. She can see the
amusing side of things and thus is saved from many heartaches.
Besides, because she is humble, she is less sensitive.
Consequently, it is hard for anyone to hurt her. She will have little
temptation to go around brooding over real or imagined slights.
For the give and take of every day life with her husband she is well
6. THE WIFE DESIRED IS A COMPANION TO HER HUSBAND
The wife desired is the companion of her husband. Hand in hand
they walk through life sharing their joys and sorrows. Together
they stand against the world. They have secrets shared with no one
else. Their union goes beyond that of friendship, for in it are
found the little intimacies of lovers. Together they meet life
fortified with each other. Their hearts leap for gladness in the
merry month of May of their lives. In the grey December their
sorrows are softened with the comfort of carrying each other's
burden. No pain can equal the pain of the loss of each other. Their
loneliness when death takes the other has no counterpart in this
vale of tears.
Marriage is a partnership in the business of living. Just as most
phases of life are specialized, so marriage itself is specialized. To
the husband fall certain obligations, to the wife others. He must
bring home the bacon. She upholds her end of the bargain by
being the queen of the home. "As the sun when it rises upon the
world in the high places of God. so is the beauty of a good wife for
the ornament of her house." Ecclus. 26, 21.
In this chapter we consider a number of aspects of married life
which may seem to have little or no reference to companionship. A
girl contemplating marriage and especially the phase of
companionship which it brings may wonder what sewing, cooking,
and housework can have to do with companionship. The answer in
a nutshell is that, unless the wife takes care of her end of the
bargain, there will be little companionship.
If the husband is irresponsible and does not support the family,
how can there be the normal companionship of marriage?
Likewise, if the wife is remiss in the specialized chores which are
her lot in life, she will make a very poor companion. In other
words, the husband's support of the home and the wife's cooking
and housework are the basis upon which it is possible for them to
build a companionship without which marriage is a bleak affair. As
we have already said, marriage is a partnership, and
companionship is the reward beyond reckoning for those who
accomplish the duties befalling them as partners in a glorious
Suppose that a young lady married a man unequipped for and
irresponsible about his obligations. After a few days of
honeymoon--he did not have the cash for a more extended one--
they returned to live with her parents. He had a few more days of
freedom, she understood, before getting back to his job. The first
day or two passed well enough: but then she became worried. As
she busied herself about the house under mother's watchful eye,
her man seemed unconcerned about the future. As the days went
by, his naps on the davenport became more frequent and
prolonged. She could not hide her anxiety any longer, so she asked
him whether he was going back to his job soon. "What job?" he
frowned up at her. It did not seem that he had a job at the time,
but, like Micawber, he felt that one might turn up soon.
To be sure, a wife in this position would be in for a very difficult
marriage. I have seen very many men of this type--lazy, selfish,
irresponsible, and as well prepared for marriage as a jackrabbit.
Occasionally, he will be a very likable individual. He is good
natured and easy going and dances like a gigolo--a wonderful
fellow with whom to pass a holiday at the lake, but not a man to
settle down within the partnership of marriage.
Let us return to the wife. After all, she is our wonderful subject.
Again we can imagine the opposite case in which the wife was
delinquent. The husband was a fine, responsible young man. He
was industrious and had saved money for his marriage. In fact, he
had bought a home albeit with a fat mortgage. After ten days of
honeymooning they returned to their little home. He had several
more days vacation before returning to work. It was summer, and
they were going to make the most of it at the beach. The wife
suggested the first day that, instead of wasting time in the kitchen,
they have a sandwich and milk shake on their way. They could
thus have more time at the beach. The husband thought it was a
On the way home in the middle of the afternoon the wife
mentioned that Aunt Susie wanted them over for dinner that night.
Remember Aunt Susie? She went all out for us in the generosity of
her wedding present. Splendid. Aunt Susie's it was.
The next day and the next it was the same story--clever
maneuvering away from the kitchen. By now the husband
wondered why he did not save construction costs on the home by
eliminating the kitchen This poor little wife could just about
manage to boil water. She had never cooked a thing in her life and
did not evidence any concern for the future.
Although these two imaginary cases are extreme, do not think that
they are out of this world. One would think that a girl would pride
herself on being able to cook, to sew, and to keep house.
Sometimes an over efficient and fussy mother keeps her daughter
from having a chance to learn these things. More often her
inefficiency indicates an indolent and even selfish girl. She
prefers to let her mother spoil her by waiting on her hand and foot,
while she ensconces herself on a sofa with a book and bonbons. Of
course, many of these girls rise to the occasion with their marriage
and learn to be efficient wives in respect to the home. The love of
her husband and children does the trick. The worst offenders in
this important phase of marriage are those who stagnate after
marriage and lose interest in their homes.
One instance comes to mind in which the husband would come
home from work and wash several days dishes and tidy up the
kitchen. He had hoped to shame his wife into a realization of her
position. She merely laughed at him. She was slovenly in the care
of her child. When she got around to changing the baby's diaper,
she was more than likely to throw it into a corner to remain there
for some distant future reference. This woman did little more than
visit her girl friends all afternoon and gossip with them. She
flounced into the home a few minutes before her husband's return
from work. Her preparation of dinner consisted of opening a can of
beans, unwrapping some cold cuts, and placing on the table a loaf
of chaff and straw dust commonly called bread by a generation
unfamiliar with the joys of eating homemade bread. Had this
woman married another Okie it is possible that they could have
been happy. Not many people can live in a pigsty like this and be