My summer reading list includes a biography of A. W. Tozer and a biographical novel about Mary Todd Lincoln, and I keep finding myself mentally contrasting their marriages. It would never occur to me to compare the marriages of two such disparate personages except for the fact that their life stories happen to lie side-by-side on my reading table. Strange bedfellows, to be sure, but the juxtaposing of the two marriages elicit some interesting thoughts and questions.
It's lonely at the top. That aphorism seems to hold true even for people who start their climb with a beloved soul mate. Paradoxically, in the case of both A.W. Tozer and Abraham Lincoln, entrance into their destined arenas was granted via their wives. Stepping over the threshold, they went on to live and move and breathe in a world in which their partners seemed locked out. Is it possible to remain soul mates when living in two separate worlds?
I've also wondered whether marital tension actually serves to catapult the man to the top, by forcing him to make a conscious choice about how he spends his lifeblood, about where he channels his energy. Tension creates a climate where the man must define his boundaries and clarify his goals.
It is always instructive to study the lives of great men and women, and to consider where their choices led them, but because my ruminations are lengthy, I've chosen to write them in separate parts. I will recap the stories of the Tozers and the Lincolns in separate posts, and then seek to ask questions and draw some conclusions from there.