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Integrity of Marriage

[Heb. 12:25-26, 13:22-25; Mark 10:2-12] What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. With these words the Lord affirms the integrity of marriage; only one lawful ground for divorce is indicat­ ed — a spouse’s unfaithfulness. But what should one do if one discovers something like this? Be patient. We have a universal commandment —to bear one another’s burdens; even more willingly should close ones, such as spouses,mutually fulfill this with respect to one another. Unwill­ ingness to be patient blows up some unpleasantness out of proportion, and trifles pile up into a dividing wall. What is the mind given us for? To smooth out the path of life. Wis­ dom will work out any unpleasant­ ness which is met. Because of lack of earthly wisdom, it not worked out; even more because of an un­ willingness to think over well the state of things, and even more from not having any goal in life other than pleasure. Pleasures cease, sat­ isfaction with one another ceases; on it goes until divorce. The more goals in life are debased, the more frequent divorces become on the one hand, and on the other — un­ lawful temporary cohabitation. The source of this evil lies in materialis­ tic views of the world and life.

Saint Theophan the Recluse