BeskowReading

“Seeing, then, that such care is lavished on the body’s food, surely every care should be taken on behalf of our own children’s mother and nurse, in whom is implanted the seed from which there springs a living soul.” Aristotle, Economics

Aristotle is reflecting upon the practices of a good husband. He draws attention to the care, for body and soul, that is due to a wife.

I worry sometimes that even among those who greatly value childbearing, the good health of the mother can slip from the forefront of attention. Where it belongs. This is she who is sacred soil; nurse and educator. Wife and mother.

Every care should be taken—to the extent it is within human control—that she be well-disposed for this undertaking. Husbands need to make this the special object of our intention, deliberation, and action. Who else will? This demands much of us. Among other things, it requires a spirit of self-sacrifice; sometimes even in the form of abstinence. Too many woman, too many wives, are not the object of such care, even from those who truly do care for them.

I’ve heard that in some African cultures men and women engaged to be married observe a special diet together in preparation for child-bearing. An instance of common sense that has become uncommon. The vigilant care of husbands for the bodily and spiritual health of their wives leads both to such simple, and other more demanding practices.

 

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great, is considered by many to be the greatest ancient philosopher. The ‘Economics’ is attributed to him, but might have been authored by his students.

Originally posted at Bacon from Acorns

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John A. Cuddeback is a professor and chairman of the Philosophy Department at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, where he has taught since 1995. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America under the direction of F. Russell Hittinger. He has lectured on various topics including virtue, culture, natural law, friendship, and household. His book Friendship: The Art of Happiness was republished in 2010 as True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness. His writings have appeared in Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, and The Review of Metaphysics, as well as in several volumes published by the American Maritain Association. Though raised in what he calls an ‘archetypical suburb,’ Columbia, Maryland, he and his wife Sofia consider themselves blessed to be raising their six children in the shadow of the Blue Ridge on the banks of the Shenandoah. At the material center of their homesteading projects are heritage breed pigs, which like the pigs of Eumaeus are fattened on acorns, yielding a bacon that too few people ever enjoy. His website dedicated to the philosophy of family and household is baconfromacorns.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Oh, this is such a giant load of crap. You know how to make sure your wife is healthy? ASK HER. A ma who regularly talks to his wife as an equal and friend will never need drivel like this.

    Also, Aristotle hated women. Why use him as a guide?

  2. Karen,
    If anything in this reflection gave the impression that a husband should not learn from his wife about what she needs, and how he can serve her, then I have certainly failed to convey what I wanted to.

    I can appreciate having a concern regarding Aristotle and women. I think it is fair to say that he, as so many others, has missed some important truths about women. At the same time I find no basis to judge him a woman-hater. Failing to see certain things, and hating, are two quite distinct realities. Despite his failings, Aristotle may still well be a teacher for us.

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