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Author Topic: deaing with sexual tension, as an Orthodox Christian  (Read 8320 times) Average Rating: 5
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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: April 04, 2011, 09:38:01 PM »

hello, all.

so, the Orthodox faith is really almost 2,000 years old.  there have been many, many Orthodox Christians since 33ad.  everyone goes through puberty, and they must deal with sexual tension.  since it is a sin to, (cough, cough) re-leave sexual tension manually, how is an Orthodox Christian to deal with the sexual tension that comes with puberty? 

are there any writings of the Church fathers that tell us how to deal with this? 
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 09:40:13 PM »

I've never really gotten an answer concerning this.
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 09:44:43 PM »

pray....and be very (as in VERY) physically active- aerobic and strength training....then pray more....
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 09:52:09 PM »

Fwiw, one thing that I've heard that helps is keeping icons around the area that you're most likely to fall into problems. I guess it can be hard to do when you realise that the Theotokos or Jesus or whoever is looking at you--literally looking at you (the icon is a reminder of an invisible reality).
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 09:59:42 PM »

I think we just have to come to terms with biology and realize that there's no way to permanently "fix" this tension. Even if you were sexually active, there wouldn't be "relief". If you have sex, your body just produces more sperm and you then want it more. It's an endless cycle until you get too old to keep it up. Just keep asking for forgiveness and struggling to be in control of yourself. A lot of it has to do with your diet as well.
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 10:12:48 PM »

hello, all.

so, the Orthodox faith is really almost 2,000 years old.  there have been many, many Orthodox Christians since 33ad.  everyone goes through puberty, and they must deal with sexual tension.  since it is a sin to, (cough, cough) re-leave sexual tension manually, how is an Orthodox Christian to deal with the sexual tension that comes with puberty? 

are there any writings of the Church fathers that tell us how to deal with this? 
Perhaps asking the help of another Orthodox Christian Wink
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 10:14:34 PM »

hello, all.

so, the Orthodox faith is really almost 2,000 years old.  there have been many, many Orthodox Christians since 33ad.  everyone goes through puberty, and they must deal with sexual tension.  since it is a sin to, (cough, cough) re-leave sexual tension manually, how is an Orthodox Christian to deal with the sexual tension that comes with puberty? 

are there any writings of the Church fathers that tell us how to deal with this? 
Perhaps asking the help of another Orthodox Christian Wink

*facepalm*
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 10:21:04 PM »

Or doing 900 prostrations when temptation comes.
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 10:31:38 PM »

Or doing 900 prostrations when temptation comes.

Is kernel of truth in joking made! 900 is a bit steep. Maybe 90 prostrations plus only bread and water for the day  police
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 10:52:53 PM »

Or doing 900 prostrations when temptation comes.

Is kernel of truth in joking made! 900 is a bit steep. Maybe 90 prostrations plus only bread and water for the day  police

lol.  on a serious note, I just love the concept of monasticism that a friend of mine whose a nun told me.  she said that monastics pray and work so hard that when they get back to their cell, there is no time for the passions to attack, as your head just hits the pillow (or rock, depending how hard-core you are with your monasticism  Wink  )
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 11:23:51 PM »

St John Cassian: On Fornication

"If we really desire to enter into this spiritual combat on the same terms as the Apostle, let us concentrate our every effort at dominating this unclean spirit by placing our confidence not in our own forces but on the help of God. Human effort will never be able to win through here. For the soul will be attacked by this vice as long as it does not recognize that it is in a war beyond its powers and that it cannot obtain victory by its own effort unless it is shored up by the help and protection of the Lord." St John Cassian, Book 6:5

"Furthermore, the more sublime and heavenly the reward of chastity, the more severe the attacks of the enemy on it. Therefore, it is all the more incumbent on us to add contrition of heart, and not only bodily continence, to our fervent and tearful prayers. Thus the furnace of our flesh, which the Babylonian king does not cease to stoke with carnal suggestions, may be quenched by the dew of the Holy Spirit descending into our hearts." - John Cassian, Book 6:17

I hope that St John Cassian is of some edification in your situation. Trust me, you are not alone in this struggle.

As-Salamu alaykum,
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EDIT: One more thing... Abba Antoni [the Great] said, 'I saw the snares of the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get me through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."'
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 11:29:21 PM »





I would be banned if I posted links to some x-rated footage of monks. They caused lots of laughter in Romania.
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lol.  on a serious note, I just love the concept of monasticism that a friend of mine whose a nun told me.  she said that monastics pray and work so hard that when they get back to their cell, there is no time for the passions to attack, as your head just hits the pillow (or rock, depending how hard-core you are with your monasticism  Wink  )
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2011, 12:23:46 AM »

You could... get married to the first girl who's interested and spontaneous to do it (that'd be kinda fun.... unless you expect the "honeymoon period" to last forever!)... or spend your summers at a monastery until you graduate (gotta friend who did this in high school/college, now is a novice monk)... or you could do tons of exercise like others suggested....

Lots of this problem for me was not so much lust, but anger (boredom is a type of anger).  I had no control over my down times, I'd get mad, be bored, then get on to it.  Was a big problem of association in the first year of marriage.
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2011, 12:26:42 AM »

You could... get married to the first girl who's interested and spontaneous to do it (that'd be kinda fun.... unless you expect the "honeymoon period" to last forever!)... or spend your summers at a monastery until you graduate (gotta friend who did this in high school/college, now is a novice monk)... or you could do tons of exercise like others suggested....

Lots of this problem for me was not so much lust, but anger (boredom is a type of anger).  I had no control over my down times, I'd get mad, be bored, then get on to it.  Was a big problem of association in the first year of marriage.

interesting suggestions.  I understand the "spend summers at a monastery" totally.  I love to go to the local monastery.  it's like, the environment just sucks you up, and you feel like your getting a little nibble of theosis, and your mind is totally on spiritual things.  it's really beautiful, to forget the world and and worry about prayer, when to get up, and feeding the chickens (if only for a weekend!)
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2011, 12:37:52 AM »

Fwiw, one thing that I've heard that helps is keeping icons around the area that you're most likely to fall into problems. I guess it can be hard to do when you realise that the Theotokos or Jesus or whoever is looking at you--literally looking at you (the icon is a reminder of an invisible reality).

Buying a 6 ft icon of Christ works wonders.
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2011, 12:36:48 PM »

Fasting aka starving yourself like the Desert Fathers is pretty good Rx. Once you are in serious caloric deficit, one of the first things to go is libido.

The ultra low calories longevity folks are living proof.

You could also relieve yourself and lie two times less. I dunno why sexuality gets so much play, since even when I was at the height of my sexual activity, I don't think I could even have hit one percent of the judgmental, hateful, thoughts I had, not to mention the lies, frivolous spending of time, energy, and money, etc. with the amount of lustful thoughts much less sexual activity I participated in.



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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2011, 02:22:01 PM »

You could always cut off Mr. John Thomas and this would cease to be a problem.  Uh, wait a minute.  Forget about that.  I hear that it has been tried before and that particular gentleman got himself condemned by a Council.  Oh well, if you find something that ACTUALLY works for the average person with a job and a life outside of a monsatery, let me know.  Believe me, getting married is NOT always a solution for the problem in question.
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2011, 02:38:11 PM »

You could always cut off Mr. John Thomas and this would cease to be a problem.  Uh, wait a minute.  Forget about that.  I hear that it has been tried before and that particular gentleman got himself condemned by a Council.  Oh well, if you find something that ACTUALLY works for the average person with a job and a life outside of a monsatery, let me know.  Believe me, getting married is NOT always a solution for the problem in question.

Actually I don't see the problem. And I ain't being obtuse here.

Strictly speaking, what is the "problem"?
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2011, 02:54:04 PM »

You could always cut off Mr. John Thomas and this would cease to be a problem.  Uh, wait a minute.  Forget about that.  I hear that it has been tried before and that particular gentleman got himself condemned by a Council.  Oh well, if you find something that ACTUALLY works for the average person with a job and a life outside of a monsatery, let me know.  Believe me, getting married is NOT always a solution for the problem in question.

Actually I don't see the problem. And I ain't being obtuse here.

Strictly speaking, what is the "problem"?

Self-abuse.  And I agree with Punch on all accounts.
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2011, 02:56:23 PM »

You could always cut off Mr. John Thomas and this would cease to be a problem.  Uh, wait a minute.  Forget about that.  I hear that it has been tried before and that particular gentleman got himself condemned by a Council.  Oh well, if you find something that ACTUALLY works for the average person with a job and a life outside of a monsatery, let me know.  Believe me, getting married is NOT always a solution for the problem in question.

Actually I don't see the problem. And I ain't being obtuse here.

Strictly speaking, what is the "problem"?

Self-abuse.  And I agree with Punch on all accounts.

I am going to be try to be more obtuse. How is "sexual tension" self-abuse? I believe you are jumping to masturbation.

I am going to the beginning of the post and wondering why have an erection, which I think is meant by sexual tension, is a "problem"?
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2011, 03:05:03 PM »

Well, the OP uses "sexual tension" as the problem statement.  The OP also seems to stipulate (I used that word because it sounds nasty) the following:

1) People suffer from this,
2) It needs to be relieved, and
3) having sex with yourself is frowned upon.

I could see this as a problem.  At least the OP seems to.  I did not see this as a problem when I was younger since I did not particularly frown on #3 above (as long as it was not done in public).  However, I have discovered that there are people other than my parents that frown upon #3, and who claim consequences much more serious than one's hands turning black.  Now, at my age, walking around with a woody is probably not a real problem. In fact, it could be a source of pride.  But, I do remember that in my younger days, having a large protrusion below the belt was met with somewhat less enthusiasm than a female having large protrusions below the neck and above the waist.

BTW - my avatar has nothing to do with this thread.


You could always cut off Mr. John Thomas and this would cease to be a problem.  Uh, wait a minute.  Forget about that.  I hear that it has been tried before and that particular gentleman got himself condemned by a Council.  Oh well, if you find something that ACTUALLY works for the average person with a job and a life outside of a monsatery, let me know.  Believe me, getting married is NOT always a solution for the problem in question.

Actually I don't see the problem. And I ain't being obtuse here.

Strictly speaking, what is the "problem"?
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2011, 03:07:07 PM »

From what I'm seeing, the "problem" is not sexual tension per se but the release of said tension as it applies to an unmarried pubescent male.  Generally speaking, within those parameters, physically speaking, that usually means one of two things: fornication or masturbation.  Trevor is looking for ideas for other outlets aside from those two.  Punch and I apparently agree that it's incredibly difficult for an average person with a job and a life outside a monastery to implement something that actually works and both note that marriage itself is not always a solution for the release of sexual tension, particularly if you have a history of over-indulgence in self-abuse.

Non-obtuse enough?

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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2011, 03:07:57 PM »

BTW - my avatar has nothing to do with this thread.



Thank you, sir.  I needed that laugh today.
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2011, 03:28:46 PM »

From what I'm seeing, the "problem" is not sexual tension per se but the release of said tension as it applies to an unmarried pubescent male.  Generally speaking, within those parameters, physically speaking, that usually means one of two things: fornication or masturbation.  Trevor is looking for ideas for other outlets aside from those two.  Punch and I apparently agree that it's incredibly difficult for an average person with a job and a life outside a monastery to implement something that actually works and both note that marriage itself is not always a solution for the release of sexual tension, particularly if you have a history of over-indulgence in self-abuse.

Non-obtuse enough?



I see Punch's point about obvious tumescence issue, although all of us men here know there are ways around this.

I strictly mean, you are physically aroused. OK. When does the problem begin?

I am hungry right now (another sort of physical arousal). I am observing a fast. There are at least a dozen pizzas within 20 feet of me. Is the fact my stomach is churning a bit and I am salivating a bit a problem? I don't think so. Pretty normal physiological response and I don't feel much culpability in the issue.

It would seem to me such issues become problem if you engage in behaviors in light of them you wish you wouldn't or you become obsessed in not engaging in those behaviors.

In my case, I know 100% of time if I don't walk over and pick up a piece of pizza and put it in my mouth and chew it and swallow it, I will not eat a piece of pizza and I will maintain my fast. There are a lot of gross motor movements there I absolutely can control.

The same could be said for most physical activities including masturbation.

Now, I think if I constantly struggled with walking up to the pizzas, sniffing them, taking an olive off, posting threads about not eating them, I might also have a problem. This is a problem which is more difficult to address and probably stopping the obsession with *NOT* doing something is to begin to understand the situation in a different light and taking practical steps to avoid the obsession with not doing the "wrong" thing.

So the question becomes which case is the problem. From Trevor's history as I know it. It seems to becoming the latter.

If that is the case, I think there is a lot of good advice to be given.

If it is the former, then just exert gross movement control. It ain't that big of a deal. Just uncomfortable or boring at times. If you mess up, then pray and ask for forgiveness. Again I would dare say that it would be rare person who engages in this "self-harm" more often than in gluttony, lying, hardness of heart, lack of charity, etc.

That insight alone could be a beginning point to releasing some of the tension so to speak.

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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2011, 03:33:01 PM »

Keep your bedroom door open and keep all computer/tv's in shared living areas.  I have friends who are fundamentalist protestants whose mother would duct tape their hands to the bed post each night before bed. It's a bit far imo though.
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2011, 03:36:12 PM »

hello, all.

so, the Orthodox faith is really almost 2,000 years old.  there have been many, many Orthodox Christians since 33ad.  everyone goes through puberty, and they must deal with sexual tension.  since it is a sin to, (cough, cough) re-leave sexual tension manually, how is an Orthodox Christian to deal with the sexual tension that comes with puberty? 

are there any writings of the Church fathers that tell us how to deal with this? 

Keep in mind that for most of those 2000 years people were getting married a lot earlier than they do these days. There was one Church Father, who argued that by 16 you should be married on in a monastery--I think St John Chrysostom. Even less than a century ago you have men (boys??) entering monasteries as young as 12 or 13.

I'm not arguing that teenagers struggling with such issues should run off to monasteries so young, just pointing out that the reality of times past was different than our reality.
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« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2011, 03:39:34 PM »

Keep your bedroom door open and keep all computer/tv's in shared living areas.  I have friends who are fundamentalist protestants whose mother would duct tape their hands to the bed post each night before bed. It's a bit far imo though.
Those parents are cuckoo. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2011, 03:41:47 PM »

^It's defiantly more then a little awkward when you sleep over and they ask if you would like your hands duct taped.
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« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2011, 03:43:28 PM »

Here is a VERY Orthodox answer, but will seem VERY unorthodox to many.

We marry too late.

Back in the day, 14 & 15 years old was common.  

The virgin Mary many even speculate was 14-15 which is when God came incarnate through her.

The real solution for Christians has always been there.  We just adapted to modern day society where now days it seems 25 is still kind of young to be married.
Just because new modern thought is popular doesn't always mean its right.

The idea of a 14 year old engaging in Holy Matrimony today is nearly considered abuse.  In ancient Christianity, it was very common.
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2011, 03:43:55 PM »

they must be obsessed with sex, for all their puritanical whatever
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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2011, 03:44:41 PM »

Keep your bedroom door open and keep all computer/tv's in shared living areas.  I have friends who are fundamentalist protestants whose mother would duct tape their hands to the bed post each night before bed. It's a bit far imo though.
Those parents are cuckoo. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Ummm understatement much? That is called child abuse.

Regarding all these over protectively parental intrusions into the auto-sexual behavior of their children:

What happens in the shower, stays in the shower . . .

I mean let's get real here. Lotsa good pastoral and compassionate points above in the previous posts.

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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2011, 03:45:55 PM »

^It's defiantly more then a little awkward when you sleep over and they ask if you would like your hands duct taped.

I could see that.  Not as awkward, perhaps, as my response would have been: "No thanks, that's a little too kinky for my tastes."  Needless to say, I never got invited back to any super-fundamentalist friends' houses.
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« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2011, 03:46:42 PM »

they must be obsessed with sex, for all their puritanical whatever

no doubt. Freud wasn't without his insight into Victorian mores and how they affected the behavior of the up-standing folks he was treating.
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« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2011, 03:47:22 PM »

^It's defiantly more then a little awkward when you sleep over and they ask if you would like your hands duct taped.

I could see that.  Not as awkward, perhaps, as my response would have been: "No thanks, that's a little too kinky for my tastes."  Needless to say, I never got invited back to any super-fundamentalist friends' houses.

*zing*
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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2011, 04:07:07 PM »

i think id rather resort to duct tape than fall into lust ....
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« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2011, 04:11:36 PM »

i think id rather resort to duct tape than fall into lust ....

Resorting to duct tape is falling into lust.
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« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2011, 04:16:24 PM »

i think id rather resort to duct tape than fall into lust ....

Resorting to duct tape is falling into lust.

im talking about acting out the lust
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« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2011, 04:17:47 PM »

i think id rather resort to duct tape than fall into lust ....

Resorting to duct tape is falling into lust.

im talking about acting out the lust

So am I.
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« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2011, 04:21:40 PM »

i think id rather resort to duct tape than fall into lust ....

Resorting to duct tape is falling into lust.

im talking about acting out the lust

So am I.

ummm ok ...
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Pravoslavbob
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« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2011, 04:31:51 PM »

Here is a VERY Orthodox answer, but will seem VERY unorthodox to many.

We marry too late.

Back in the day, 14 & 15 years old was common.  

The virgin Mary many even speculate was 14-15 which is when God came incarnate through her.

The real solution for Christians has always been there.  We just adapted to modern day society where now days it seems 25 is still kind of young to be married.
Just because new modern thought is popular doesn't always mean its right.

The idea of a 14 year old engaging in Holy Matrimony today is nearly considered abuse.  In ancient Christianity, it was very common.

It is certainly true that adolescence is basically an eighteenth-century invention which was created in order to make it possible to extend young  peoples' educations.    However, I do agree that getting married does not necessarily solve the problem, although your point is well taken.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 05:58:07 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2011, 04:44:18 PM »

i think id rather resort to duct tape than fall into lust ....
Why not cutting off the members involved, as the Scriptures say?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2011, 04:46:14 PM »

i think id rather resort to duct tape than fall into lust ....
Why not cutting off the members involved, as the Scriptures say?
Stop reading your Origen.
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« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2011, 04:48:42 PM »

Never read a line of Origen in my life.
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« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2011, 04:50:23 PM »

Here is a VERY Orthodox answer, but will seem VERY unorthodox to many.

We marry too late.

Back in the day, 14 & 15 years old was common.  

The virgin Mary many even speculate was 14-15 which is when God came incarnate through her.

The real solution for Christians has always been there.  We just adapted to modern day society where now days it seems 25 is still kind of young to be married.
Just because new modern thought is popular doesn't always mean its right.

The idea of a 14 year old engaging in Holy Matrimony today is nearly considered abuse.  In ancient Christianity, it was very common.
In those days, 14 was middle aged. For all that, I see a lot about women getting married at that age, men, not so much.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2011, 05:02:03 PM »

Never read a line of Origen in my life.

"Notwithstanding, these gates have a certain power by which they gain the mastery over some who do not resist and strive against them; but they are overcome by others who, because they do not turn aside from Him who said, 'I am the door,' have rased from their soul all the gates of Hades. And this also we must know that as the gates of cities have each their own names, in the same way the gates of Hades might be named after the species of sins; so that one gate of Hades is called 'fornication,' through which fornicators go, and another 'denial,' through which the deniers of God go down into Hades." - Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, 12, 12

There, now you won't die saying you've never read any Origen  Grin
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