A Prayer for our Marriages

Today I’ve run across a rare hymn on the subject of marriage and family life.  Marriage was ordained by God at the beginning of history as the foundation of home life and social order, and it must remain so until the end of time.  This unusual hymn, “O Blessèd Home Where Man and Wife,” was written by a Norwegian Lutheran pastor named Magnus B. Landstad, who compiled a new hymnal that was authorized for use in Norway on October 16, 1869.  Though seldom sung in American churches, the first three stanzas are a powerful sermon about the home, and the closing stanza offers a fitting prayer for holiness and happiness in our family life today.  What a great hymn to sing or quote at weddings!

O blessèd home where man and wife
Together lead a godly life
By deeds their faith confessing!
There many a happy day is spent,
There Jesus gladly will consent
To tarry with His blessing.

If they have given Him their heart,
The place of honor set apart
For Him each night and morrow,
Then He the storms of life will calm,
Will bring for every wound a balm,
And change to joy their sorrow.

And if their home be dark and drear,
The cruse be empty, hunger near,
All hope within them dying,
Let them despair not in distress;
Lo, Christ is there the bread to bless,
The fragments multiplying.

O Lord, we come before Thy face;
In every home bestow Thy grace
On children, father, mother,
Relieve their wants, their burdens ease,
Let them together dwell in peace
And love to one another.