I'm not sure if it is legend, or if it truly is the more factual story of St. Nicholas (we have one CPH book on him), but supposedly he gave money to needy families so that their daughters could be married. A dowry was needed in those days and young women from families of little means would often end up as prostitutes.
Think about this: Because of no dowry young women would end up as prostitutes. Isn't it great that our society is not so barbaric that one needs money to get married and that the choices are much greater? Think again....
This week I heard Dr. Brad Wilcox on The Drew Mariani Show. Dr. Wilcox is a sociologist that studies marriage and he talked about an interesting phenomena - people in lower and middle class groups want to be married, but delay it and cohabitate and have children outside of marriage because they want "the big wedding". They delay to afford an extravaganza, and all the while live in a way that is not chaste.
I wonder if St. Nicholas would throw sacks of coins into their father's windows to avoid continued living in sin?
I think not,,,, but I think it is important to train our Lutheran children that Christ blesses marriage for His own sake and for the increase of His Church both domestic and where Word and Sacrament are administered.
Money and show are not what make for happy homes. Those contemplating marriage and those who are married should be encouraged to study God's Word and learn well of Christ and His bride and worry less about a foolish dream, that is sometimes no better than the foolishness of society in St. Nicholas' time.