The Church sees in marriage the secret of love - not only human love, but also Divine love.
“Marriage is the sacrament of love,” says St. John Chrysostom, and explains that marriage is a sacrament because it exceeds the boundaries of our mind, for in it two become one. Calls marriage love sacrament (sacramentum) and blessed Augustine. The graceful character of marriage love is inseparably linked with this, for the Lord is present where people are united by mutual love.
The liturgical books of the Orthodox Church also speak about marriage as a union of love. “On the hedgehog of his love more perfect, more peaceful,” we read in the wake of the betrothal. In the wedding's succession, the Church prays for the gift of “love for one another”.
Marital love itself in the relationship of the spouses to each other is mysterious and has a shade of adoration. “Marital love is the strongest type of love. Other attractions are strong, but this attraction has such a power that never weakens. And in the next century, the faithful spouses will fearlessly meet and will remain forever with Christ and each other in great joy, ”writes Chrysostom.In addition to this side of marriage love, there is in it another, no less important.
“Christian marriage love is not only joy, but also a feat, and has nothing to do with that“ free love ”, which, according to a common frivolous view, should supposedly replace the outdated institution of marriage. In love, we not only get another, but completely surrender ourselves, and without complete death of personal egoism, there can be no resurrection for a new, beautiful life ... Christianity only recognizes love, ready for unlimited sacrifices, only love, ready to lay soul for brother , for a friend (John 15:13; John 3:16, and others), because only through such love does the individual rise to the mysterious life of the Holy Trinity and the Church. The same must be the marriage love. Christianity knows no other marriage love than the love of Christ’s love for His Church, who gave Himself for it (Eph. 5:25). ”
St. John Chrysostom, in his inspired sermons, teaches that a husband should not stop before any torment and even death, if it is necessary for the good of his wife. “I consider you more precious than my soul,” says the husband to his wife at Chrysostom.
The perfect marriage love, requested in the rite of betrothal, is love that is ready for self-sacrifice, and the deep meaning is that in Orthodox churches the church song includes the holy martyr.
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