Today's Woman: Katherine Von Bora (1499-1552)
Katherine was married to the great Martin Luther.
She was born in Lippendorf, Germany. Her mother passed away when she was only five years of age. She was placed into a convent later in life by her father. While there, food protection and clothing were provided. But life in the convent was difficult. It was so difficult that young nuns who wanted to be free and fought to seek freedom were punished. As things progressed, there were twelve nuns who sent word to Luther that they wanted to escape. In the end, Luther arranged for the young nuns to break free. On Easter, April 5, 1523, two men, Henry and Leonard Koppe, drove up to the convent with a wagon load of barrels and placed each nuns inside a barrel and drove away from the convent. Three of the twelve girls went back to their home while the other nine were taken to Wittenburg, where a husband would be found for them.
Luther tried to find Kate a husband, but could not. As the other women found husbands, the only one left was Kate. The relationship between Kate and Martin Luther grew and they both came to see that they deeply loved each other. Their age: Martin Luther, 42, and Kate, 25. They had a glorious marriage despite their age differences.
Martin Luther called her, "Kitty, my rib" and she would call him, "Doctor Luther."
What can we learn from her? That is the question.Here is what Warren Wiersbe wrote about Kate:
"She transformed the old cloister into a fairly comfortable house, and like the energetic woman of Proverbs 31, she launched into various enterprises to feed and sustain her household. She kept cows for milk and butter and for making cheese, said her guests, was better than what they purchased at the market. She started a piggery because her husband liked pork, and this gave Luther a new name for his wife: My Lord Kate, Mistress of the Pigsty.
She turned a neglected field into a productive garden and even planted an orchard. What produce she did not produce herself, she sold or bartered at the market and used the income to purchase items for the home. She even stocked the pond with fish! "Have I not at home a fair wife.! Luther said proudly, "or shall I say boss?"
Luther wisely permitted his wife to be in charge of the management of the home. To begin with, he was far too busy to worry about such things, and, he had to admit, she did a far better job than he could do. Katherine not only cared for him and the household, but she ministered to the needs of people all over Wittenberg. She listened to their problems, gave them care and medicine in their sickness, counseled them in their sorrows, and advised them in their business affairs. The town recognized that the Luther household was an exemplary Christian home, and much of that success was due to Katherine.
Luther battled depression.
"During one very difficult period, Luther was carrying many burdens and fighting many battles. Usually jolly and smiling, he was instead depressed and worried. Katherine endured this for days. One day she met him at the door wearing a black mourning dress.
"Who died?" the professor asked.
"God," said Katherine.
"You foolish thing!" said Luther. "Why this foolishness!"
"It is true," she persisted. "God must have died, or Doctor Luther would not be so sorrowful.'
Her therapy worked, and Luther snapped out of his depression.Source (50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning From Spiritual Giants Of The Faith, Warren Wiersbe, Baker Books, 2009, 9-15).
I love the life of Katherine Von Bora because it showed that she was a Proverbs 31 woman who tended to the needs of her household. We live in a world where wives try to farm everything out to everyone else. God had given us households to be in charge of, to bless our family and our husbands. She took ownership of her household and Luther took notice of it. She worked hard and helped others. It was not all about "HER." In a world full of celebrities who have all kinds of help to do everything for them, we tend to think that is "the life." But the Bible tells us differently (Proverbs 31).I pray something today gleaned from the life of Katherine Von Bora, encourages your walk with Christ as a woman.
and Katherine endured this for days