Since marriage seems to be such a riveting topic, I thought I would excerpt this passage from a book I'm reading, Teta, Mother and Me by Jean Said Makdisa. It is a book about 3 generations of women in a prominent Lebanese family.
In the chapter entitled, Men, Women, Girls and Boys I read:
From the beginning of my life my father was held up to me as the ideal man, and it became clear to me that it was my duty to honour and uphold this manhood. Indeed, what it meant to be 'a man' was a leitmovitv of our moral education. When Daddy died, decades after the time I am writing about, Mother wanted Mark Antony's eulogy of Brutus from Julius Caesar read at his funeral. She often quoted the lines and applied them to him:
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world "This was a man!'
At the same time, a generous reciprocity caused him to represent my mother to me, and to my sisters, as the ideal woman, on whose example we would do well to model our lives. If this sort of gender idealism sounds quaintly old-fashioned today and even faintly amusing, if not downright reprehensible, I am not sure that it was such a totally bad thing. The manhood that my father represented had nothing whatever to do with the emptily macho or the physically brutal or repressive; quite the contrary. The word as it came down to me suggests gentleness, goodness, consideration, thoughtfulness, tenderness, kindness, loyalty, determination, and above all the physical and moral courage that allows a man to stand up to powerful and wrong-doing oppressors.
In how many marriages is this type of respect demonstrated for the children, the inlaws and the outside world? How different would homes be that had parents like this? I grew up in a family where my father was always held in respect. I absolutely cringe when I see husbands or wives who treat one another or address one another disrespectfully. I would happily go back to the time when husbands and wives addressed one another as Mr. and Mrs.
The picture above is from the movie Emma and besides being a perfect movie to demonstrate proper, respectful courtship this scene is memorable because after Mr. Knightley has professed his intentions Emma responds by saying that, "Now I no longer need call you Mr. Knightley, I may call you my Mr. Knightley."