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MARRIAGE and DIVORCE




 

THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

The purpose of Christian marriage is NOT to legalize wantonness or sexual pleasure.  IT IS FOR THE OBSERVANCE OF CHASTITY.  "Because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife."

Marriage used to have two purposes: to make us chaste and to make us parents. Chastity takes precedence over paternity. But "to fill the earth" is no longer applicable today because the earth is full. So, even God saw to it that some marriages remain childless.

And so, the only purpose of Christian marriage is the observance of chastity. 

In the Old Testament, it meant so much to have children; children lessened the pains of death. Today, the thought of the Resurrection takes away the pains of death; and so, the sight of one's offspring is not as desirable. To have children through spiritual labor  has become more desirable. 

So, there is only one reason left for Christian marriage, putting it negatively, to avoid fornication. So, if you will continue to be unchaste after marriage, you have approached it uselessly, in vain and to your harm. For adultery is more serious than fornication.

"Let each woman have her own husband, let the husband show his wife the good will which is due." i.e. chastity and holiness. The husband's body is no longer his but the wife's. He must keep her property intact, without diminishing or damaging it. The husband has "good will" who takes care of his master's property and shows regard to the property entrusted to him. So when another woman sets a snare for him, he must say, "This body is not mine. It belongs to my wife. I will not mistreat it nor lend it to another." In the matter of ownership, there is equality between husband and wife.

In a few other matters, the husband has superiority, thus, "The husband is the head of the wife." "And the wife ought to be subject to her husband." But in matters of chastity and holiness, husband and wife must observe equality.

Your wife did not come to you, leaving her father, mother, and household so you can insult her by taking a cheap girl in her place. And you, husband, did not take a wife to wage a thousand battles; you took a companion, a partner for life. God instituted marriage to protect the wife.

By adultery, many families are broken, many battles are started. This sin empties out love and undermines good will.

A virtuous man can never neglect or scorn his wife, as a wanton and licentious man can never love his wife no matter how beautiful she is. Virtue gives birth to love and love brings innumerable blessings.

St. John Chrysostom: "On 1 Thes. 4:8"

 

 

 

 

 

(10-30-04)

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