“Marriage was instituted in the time of man’s innocency, but it has operated ever since under the shadow of the fall. Therefore its materialities, along with all our other materialities, become the means of our cure. He who perished by a tree is saved by a tree. He who died by an apple is restored by eating the flesh of his Saviour. Our lust is to be healed by being brought down to one bed, our savagery tamed by the exchanges around a lifelong table. Bed, Board, rooftree and doorway become the choice places of our healing, the delimitations of our freedom. By setting us boundaries, they hold us in; but they trammel the void as well. By confining, they keep track of us – they leave us free to be found, and to find ourselves.”
The vow of lifelong fidelity to one bed, one woman, becomes the wall at the edge of the cliff that leaves the children free to play a little, rather than be lost at large. Marriage gives us somewhere to be.
Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965), 69-70