“Having been taught by experience I can say how you ought to restore your spirit when you suffer from spiritual depression. When you are assailed by gloom, despair, or a troubled conscience you should eat, drink, and talk with others. If you can find help for yourself by thinking of a girl, do so.
The only sane bit is the talking with others thing. ‘Thinking of a girl’ and ‘eating and drinking’ will only lead to guilt and thus more despair and depression.
Sometimes Luther has good advice and other times his advice is horrible. This is just such a time.
If you are not diligently concerned that your children … learn piety, then it serves you right if your children are disobedient … For God does not give you your children to toy with… As you learn from me, so children and servants should learn from you parents and masters. Remember and help to raise up good people, that you, father, may raise up a devout son, you, mother, a devout daughter, who in turn will raise up their children in piety. — Martin Luther
One great theologian once remarked, while discussing a new translation of the Bible with his colleagues:
I’m concerned that there won’t be much reading in the Bible, for people are very tired of it and nobody clamors for it any more.
Who said such a marvelously contemporary truth? None other than Martin Luther, in 1540. Let him who has ears to hear, hear.