Author Topic: Any resources for those discerning marriage?  (Read 5836 times)

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Online Shlomlokh

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Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« on: July 18, 2010, 07:17:35 PM »
Glory to Jesus Christ!

I am still a relatively new Orthodox Christian (about 7 months old  ;D ), but I am entering my junior year of college at 21 years old and want to start thinking about marriage. Although, I believe it is most likely a few years down the road (I'm currently not "seeing anyone" and I'm not in any real rush), I still want to begin seriously discerning what God wants me to do. I realize that the stereotypical (albeit firmly Orthodox ;) ) answer around here is to talk to your spiritual father--which I have done and am currently doing--but, I wanted to know if you all who are now married had any good books or other resources on Orthodox marriage. So far I've read:
Marriage and Family Life by St. John Chrysostom
Missing from Action by Fr. John Hardenbrook
The Orthodox Christian Marriage by Fr. Alexey Young

My priest is a firm believer in courtship rather than the casual dating of the modern world and I really agree with him in that regard. I remember seeing a book that a room mate of mine had when I was Catholic called "The ABCs of finding a Good Wife." Is there anything similar to this in Orthodoxy? For those who are married, what would you recommend someone such as myself doing to prepare for meeting my future wife (if it is God's will)? Any and all help would be more than appreciated.

In Christ,
Andrew
"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos

Offline Quinault

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 10:04:02 PM »
I would highly suggest that you try and be as debt free as possible. But that is what I would tell anyone period, not just those that wish to wed.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 08:33:08 AM »
My perhaps very un-Orthodox advice would be, as always: fall in love with a woman first. Make sure that you love her so much that you cannot live without her. Then offer her your hand and your heart. If she rejects you, insist until she accepts. When she accepts - and if you really love her, she will, - marry her and love her as long as you live.
Love never fails.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 09:26:34 AM »
For marriage generally from an Orthodox perspective, there is always...

Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom, by David Ford

Quote
If she rejects you, insist until she accepts. When she accepts - and if you really love her, she will, - marry her and love her as long as you live.

 ???

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 09:30:13 AM »
For marriage generally from an Orthodox perspective, there is always...

Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom, by David Ford

I read a bit of good Holy Father John on this issue. Lord, save us.:)

Quote
If she rejects you, insist until she accepts. When she accepts - and if you really love her, she will, - marry her and love her as long as you live.

 ???
[/quote]

Love never fails. My wife said "no" a good number of times when I proposed.:) (Also, see "The Graduate.")
Love never fails.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 09:39:34 AM »
They need a "one eyebrow raised" emoticon.

When you get to heaven, would you kindly tell my wife about this rule? because after 6 1/2 years of marriage and two children, she decided to leave me.

EDIT--I do apologize for bringing up something so personal here. I could have--and should have--simply said that I disagreed.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 09:55:11 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 12:15:12 PM »
Asteriktos, my dear brother, I am so sorry that it was I who made you bring this "personal" thing up - you have every right, and I really regret that I carelessly triggered that.

Still, I really do not know of any other way except fall in love, keep being in love, make sure that you love her so that you can't live without her, persuade, propose, propose again iif necessary, persist, make her see you for what you are and love you, marry, love, and love, and love till the end of times. It may not work, but it may WORK - and nothing else may work. People who say that they chose their spouse because of some faith-based values and that was all and they are happy are, I do very strongly believe, simply LYING, LYING, LYING through their teeth.
Love never fails.

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 12:43:46 PM »
I think the most ideal (and completely possible) situation is to marry someone whom one loves completely and also who shares one's faith. I've seen many such very happy marriages.

Don't know about the man persisting until the woman marries him though, Heorhij. My great-grandmother, a very, very beautiful woman was treated this way by her suitor and eventually she gave in. It seemed that after the "thrill of the chase" was over, her husband treated her very shoddily, even developing a sort of romantic relationship with his own daughter and together, they ganged up to degrade and humilitate my dear gg grandmother. It was a terrible situation. I've had men (btw, one such was Ukrainian) insisting ad nauseum that I should want to marry them, and how could this be that I do not agree, for, since they feel this way, it MUST be God's will. Never could understand how it could seem to them to be "God's will", but ever so far from that to me. Needless to say, I refused to succumb to this thinking. Maybe I was wrong to do so, though, who knows? All I know is that, as a woman I could never force any man to be attracted to me, to love me, no matter how much I wanted it, so why should men have that right?
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 01:05:24 PM by Rosehip »
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline vamrat

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 07:08:05 PM »
Make sure you are financially well off first.  Money won't buy you happiness, but it sure doesn't hurt.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 08:29:40 PM »
Yeah, these days, if you persist too much, they start accusing you of stalking.  ;)
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 08:48:16 PM »
Make sure you are financially well off first.  Money won't buy you happiness, but it sure doesn't hurt.
LOL. If you wait until you can afford children, you will never have them. Sort of like waiting until you can afford to give to charity.
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Offline visitor

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 09:59:44 PM »
Qualify the dedication to the Faith itself of each party.

There has been some advice about money. That's good advice. A lack of money can wear even a good marriage thin. But it's far from everything. I've seen the surplus of money drive marriages into the ground!

No, the most important thing is that no matter what, both parties recognise that a marriage takes place in the sight of, and by the action of God the Trinity. Marriage is a contract with God, not with a partner.

Secondly, both parties must take the crowns of martyrdom seriously. Each party must resign his/her will to the other. Period.


There's too much about marriage as a consumer cult, a social modality, a "lifestyle" option, etc. It really is basically just a modified form of monasticism if that makes any sense at all. But if both parties understand, believe, and abide by this, then their marriage is ready to weather the storm, and ready to have some really fulfilling adventures too.  8)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 10:01:05 PM by visitor »

Offline vamrat

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 10:12:46 PM »
Make sure you are financially well off first.  Money won't buy you happiness, but it sure doesn't hurt.
LOL. If you wait until you can afford children, you will never have them. Sort of like waiting until you can afford to give to charity.

There are plenty of orphans.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline visitor

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2010, 07:33:30 AM »
I'm just going to put this in bold:

Quote

There are plenty of orphans.


Just look at Russia right now. The majority of couples reproducing are too young (and too economically challenged) to raise the children; but they are just young enough to produce healthy babies!

Moreover, consider the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. The wisest emperors had the best successors when they chose adopted- or foster sons, this is a fact. Raising one's own blood is a special priviledge. But choosing a son or daughter according to one's reason must surely have its advantages as well.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 07:34:31 AM by visitor »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2010, 11:32:02 AM »
Qualify the dedication to the Faith itself of each party.

There has been some advice about money. That's good advice. A lack of money can wear even a good marriage thin. But it's far from everything. I've seen the surplus of money drive marriages into the ground!

No, the most important thing is that no matter what, both parties recognise that a marriage takes place in the sight of, and by the action of God the Trinity. Marriage is a contract with God, not with a partner.

Secondly, both parties must take the crowns of martyrdom seriously. Each party must resign his/her will to the other. Period.


There's too much about marriage as a consumer cult, a social modality, a "lifestyle" option, etc. It really is basically just a modified form of monasticism if that makes any sense at all. But if both parties understand, believe, and abide by this, then their marriage is ready to weather the storm, and ready to have some really fulfilling adventures too.  8)

What visitor said.
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Offline Christianus

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Re: Any resources for those discerning marriage?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2010, 09:18:27 PM »
Yeah, these days, if you persist too much, they start accusing you of stalking.  ;)
What I do is try to find things with the girl I like to accuse her of stalking me. then she tries to prove that she's not stalking me, so in the end it just makes her more attracted in me. haha