Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

marriage

12 Entries

"A house is a little church... let your prayers be common. Let each go to Church; and let the husband ask his wife at home, and she again ask her husband, the account of the things which were said and read there .... Teach her that there is nothing in life that is to be feared, save only offending against God. If any marry thus, with these views, he will be but little inferior to monks. St John Chrysostom, HOMILY XX ON EPHESIANS



...The husband and wife must lay virtue, and not passion, as the foundation of their love, that is, when the husband sees any fault in his wife, he must nudge her meekly, and the wife must submit to her husband in this. Likewise when a wife sees some fault in her husband, she must exhort him, and he is obliged to hear her. In this manner their love will be faithful and unbroken, and thereby having mutually composed their happiness, they shall take pleasure in the virtue. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk (+1783)

A life lived in the world can be as good, in the eyes of God, as one spent in a monastery. It is indeed only the keeping of God's commandments, love of all, and a true sense of humility that matter, wherever we are. Elder Macarius of Optina

But there is hardly anything more serious than to be joined in marriage to a stranger (i.e., to an unbeliever), where the instigations both of lustful appetite and of disharmony and the shameful crimes of sacrilege are welded together. For if marriage itself needs to be sanctified by the priestly veil and blessing, how is it possible to speak of a marriage where there is no agreement in faith? St. Ambrose of Milan (+397)

Husbands, never call her simply by her name, but with terms of endearment, with honor, with much love. Honor her, and she will not need honor from others; she will not want the glory that comes from others, if she enjoys that which comes from thee. Prefer her before all, on every account, both for her beauty and her discernment, and praise her. St.John Chrysostom, HOMILY XX on EPHESIANS

Ponder the truth of Christian marriage: man and wife are one flesh! Does it not follow that they must share all their possessions? And yet you two haggle over this property! And why? Because of words! St. Macarius of Optina (+1860)

Some people living carelessly in the world have asked me: "We have wives and are beset with social cares, and how can we lead the solitary life?" I replied to them: "Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not hate anyone; do not be absent from Divine services; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man's domestic happiness, and be content with what your own wives can give you. If you behave in this way, you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven. St. John of the Ladder (Climacus)

Comprising one flesh, [the couple] also has a single soul, and their mutual love awakens in them a zeal for piety. For the state of wedlock does not estrange us from God, but rather ties us more closely to Him, for it brings forth a greater impetus to turn to Him. Even under a light breeze, a small boat moves forward…., a light breeze will not move a great ship.... Thus, those not burdened with secular concerns have less need of help from Almighty God, but one who has responsibilities, who looks after his beloved spouse, his estate and his children, traverses a broader sea of life, and has greater need of God’s help. In return [for that help], he himself comes to love God even more. Holy Hierarch Gregory the Theologian

It is essential to summon the priests to confirm with prayers and blessings the couple in their life together, so that the groom’s love might intensify, the bride’s chastity of mind be strengthened, everything work to ensure that the virtues settle into their home, the machinations of the devil be scattered, and that the couple, united through God’s help, might spend their life in joy. Holy Hierarch John Chrysostom

Let both men and women listen and learn about the just man's [Enoch] virtue, and not consider marriage to be an obstacle to pleasing God. I mean, it was to this effect that in more than one place Sacred Scripture made a point of saying that he had a son Methuselah and then pleased God, and said the same thing over again in the words, `was well-pleasing to God. after his begetting Methuselah,' in case anyone thought it was an obstacle to virtue.

You see, as long as we are on our guard, neither marriage nor bringing up children nor anything else will be able to stand in the way of our being pleasing to God.

... Dearly beloved, had marriage or the raising of children been likely to prove a stumbling block on the way to virtue, the Creator of all would not have introduced marriage into our life lest it prove our undoing in difficult times and through severe problems. Since, however, family life not only offers us no obstacle to wisdom in God's eyes as long as we are prepared to be on our guard, but even brings us much encouragement and calms the tumult of our natural tendencies, not allowing the billows to surge but constantly ensuring that the barque dock safely in the harbor, consequently He granted the human race the consolation that comes from this source... St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Genesis - in `The Lament of Eve' by Johanna Manley.



The husband must bear in mind that his deeds and words should engender piety in his home. The wife must look after the house. However, in addition to that occupation, she must also attend to another, more pressing concern - that the whole family strive [to attain] the Heavenly Kingdom. Holy Hierarch John Chrysostom

Let both men and women listen and learn about the just man's [Enoch] virtue, and not consider marriage to be an obstacle to pleasing God. I mean, it was to this effect that in more than one place Sacred Scripture made a point of saying that he had a son Methuselah and then pleased God, and said the same thing over again in the words, `was well-pleasing to God. after his begetting Methuselah,' in case anyone thought it was an obstacle to virtue.

You see, as long as we are on our guard, neither marriage nor bringing up children nor anything else will be able to stand in the way of our being pleasing to God.

... Dearly beloved, had marriage or the raising of children been likely to prove a stumbling block on the way to virtue, the Creator of all would not have introduced marriage into our life lest it prove our undoing in difficult times and through severe problems. Since, however, family life not only offers us no obstacle to wisdom in God's eyes as long as we are prepared ! to be on our guard, but even brings us much encouragement and calms the tumult of our natural tendencies, not allowing the billows to surge but constantly ensuring that the barque dock safely in the harbor, consequently He granted the human race the consolation that comes from this source... St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Genesis - in `The Lament of Eve' by Johanna Manley.







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