This wasn't always the case. St. Spyridon was a married bishop with kids. But as Christianity started to grow and bishops were called upon to administer greater areas than simply that of a city including the surrounding the countryside, the church decided that the bishop, the man who is at the center of the unity of faith (see Ignatios' epistles), should not be constrained from ministering to his flock successfully which means removing hindrances, including wife and children.
Could you point me to some references? The ones I am familiar with--the two canons of the Council in Trullo, do not have it. Rather, it seems that the faithful was scandalized because some bishops were living with their lawful wives.
"Canon 12. Moreover this also has come to our knowledge, that in Africa and Libya and in other places the most God-beloved bishops in those parts do not refuse to live with their wives, even after consecration, thereby giving scandal and offense to the people.
, it is our particular care that all things tend to the good of the flock placed in our hands and committed to us—it has seemed good that henceforth nothing of the kind shall in any way occur
. And we say this, not to abolish and overthrow what things were established of old by Apostolic authority, but as caring for the health of the people and their advance to better things, and lest the ecclesiastical state should suffer any reproach.
For the divine Apostle says: Do all to the glory of God, give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Greeks, nor to the Church of God, even as I please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me even as I also am of Christ. But if any shall have been observed to do such a thing, let him be deposed." (my emphasis)
The italicized portion indicates how very aware the Fathers of this Council were of the following Scriptural and canonical precedents:
1 Timothy 3: "1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)..."
Apostolic Canon 6: "Let not a bishop, a priest, or a deacon cast off his own wife under pretence of piety; but if he does cast her off, let him be suspended. If he go on in it, let him be deprived."
Matthew 19:6 "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."