The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Meet the Luthers

Martin and Katie: Still role models for today's parents

Raising a family might have been one of the last things Katie von Bora or Martin Luther imagined for themselves. For much of their young lives, Katie was a nun and Martin was a devoted monk. Getting married wasn't in their game plans — much less having children.

Things changed after Martin ditched the monastery and became an outspoken critic of the Roman Catholic Church. He assisted in a plan that smuggled Katie out of the convent in a fish barrel. They married in 1525 and, less than a year later, welcomed Hans, the first of their six children.

michael d. watsonScholars often point to the Luthers as the "poster family" of the Protestant Reformation. Although they lived a half-millennium ago, their family life still provides a vibrant template for parents, said Timothy J. Wengert, a professor of Reformation history at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

"The Luther family is as much a good example for today as any good family would be," Wengert said. "They help show us that house and home are gifts from God."

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February issue


Embracing diversity