May 1, 2008

Husband and wife: companions on the journey to heaven

From St. John Chrysostom:

Some say that marriage was ordained by God as a blessing to the human race. Others say that marriage is a necessary evil for those who cannot restrain their sexual appetites. In truth it is impossible to speak in such ways about marriage in general; we can only make judgments about particular marriages. There are some marriages which bring great blessings to the husband and the wife, to their children, and to all their neighbors. But there are other marriages which seem to bring few blessings to anyone.

The difference between these two types of marriages lies in the spirit with which the bond was forged and is maintained. If a man and a woman marry to satisfy their sexual appetites, or to further the material aims of themselves or their families, then their union is unlikely to bring blessings. But if a man and a woman marry in order to be companions on the journey through earth to heaven, then their union will bring great joy to themselves and to others. Some people need a close companion, and for these people God has ordained marriage. Some do not need a close companion, and for these people God has ordained celibacy.

No comments: