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On Marriage & Family Life (Popular Patristics Series)

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Christian tradition often seems to give only grudging approval to the married life, particularly its sexual aspect. In these sermons of St John Chrysostom we find an important corrective to this view. Although himself a monk, Chrysostom had a profound understanding of the needs of his congregation. Inspired by the epistles to the Corinthians and Ephesians, he discusses their reasons God instituted marriage—primarily to promote holiness of the husband and wife, and only secondarily to produce children. Chrysostom goes on to discuss sexual relations, the mutual responsibilities of marriage, and parenting. While parts of Chrysostom’s sermons may seem limited to his own time, the vast majority of his advice has timeless relevance for the Christian family.

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“But how can we show that the Church also came from the side of Christ? Scripture explains this too. When Christ was lifted up on the cross, after He had been nailed to it and had died, one of the soldiers pierced His side and there came out blood and water.10 From that blood and water the whole Church has arisen.” (Pages 93–94)

“It will be achieved if we are detached from money, if we strive above everything for virtue, if we keep the fear of God before our eyes.” (Page 58)

“Marriage was not instituted for wantonness or fornication, but for chastity. Listen to what Paul says: ‘Because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.’7 These are the two purposes for which marriage was instituted: to make us chaste, and to make us parents. Of these two, the reason of chastity takes precedence. When desire began, then marriage also began. It sets a limit to desire by teaching us to keep to one wife.” (Page 85)

“Whatever kind of wife you marry, you will never take a bride like Christ did when He married the Church; you will never marry anyone estranged from you as the Church was from Christ. Despite all this, He did not abhor or hate her for her extraordinary corruption.” (Page 47)

“Since there was not yet any hope of resurrection, but death held sway, and those who died thought that they would perish after this life, God gave the comfort of children, so as to leave living images of the departed and to preserve our species.” (Page 85)

  • Title: On Marriage & Family Life
  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Series: Popular Patristics Series
  • Volume: 7
  • Publisher: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Print Publication Date: 1986
  • Logos Release Date: 2018
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Marriage › Biblical teaching--Sermons; Family › Religious life--Biblical teaching--Sermons; Bible. N.T. Epistles of Paul › Sermons; Marriage › Religious aspects--Orthodox Eastern Church--Sermons; Family › Religious life--Orthodox Eastern Church--Sermons; Orthodox Eastern Church › Doctrines--Sermons
  • ISBNs: 0913836869, 9780913836866, 15555755
  • Resource Type: text.monograph.sermons
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T20:23:01Z

John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death (or, according to some sources, during his life) he was given the Greek surname chrysostomos, meaning “golden mouthed,” rendered in English as Chrysostom.


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  1. Tom Torbeyns

    Tom Torbeyns


    I read this book right before I got married. This was absolutely the right thing for me to do. This book brought me to tears. It is well worth your time. You should definitely read it, especially if you are going to get married or if you are already married. John Chrysostom is unsurpassed in his Scriptural exposition of the mystery/sacrament of marriage as well as in his explanations as to how you should love, forgive, and bear with your partner. John Chrysostom's explanations are very practical. This book is for daily, practical usage in your marriage.


Digital list price: $12.99
Save $3.00 (23%)