Commentary on social and moral issues of the day

Good Marriage XIII: The Theology of Marriage and Sexuality -- APPENDIX

Fr. George Morelli

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This appendix supplements the article Good Marriage XIII: The Theology of Marriage and Sexuality by Fr. George Morelli.

Questions and points to consider when an engaged couple meets with their parish priest.


  • Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."
  • So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
  • The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him.
  • So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
  • Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. "
  • Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.
  • And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:18-25).


  • And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth ... " (Genesis 1: 28).
  • Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.
  • For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
  • As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.
  • Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
  • that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
  • that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that
  • she might be holy and without blemish.
  • Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
  • For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,
  • because we are members of his body.
  • For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall
  • become one flesh."
  • This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church;
  • however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Ephesians. 5:22-33).


  • Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him (Genesis 2:18)
  • Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the Priest of mystical and pure marriage, and the Ordainer of the law of the marriage for the body ... in the beginning didst make man and set him to be a King over thy creation, and didst say: It is not good for man to be alone on the earth; let us make a helpmeet for him; and didst fashion Woman (Orthodox Marriage Crowning Service Prayer).


The many names and types of love:

  • Storge -- Affection: a feeling, emotion or sentiment.
  • Philia -- Friendship: is virtuous and loyal.
  • Eros -- Sexual Love: is passionate, may or may not involve sexual union.
  • Agape -- Divine Love: self emptying love, with no return.


  • Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you (John 15: 13,14).
  • Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (Romans 8:35)?

Agape Love

  • For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2 Corinthians 5:14,15).
  • Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son .." (1 John 4:7-10).
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Agape as Understood by St. Isaac The Syrian

  • The entire purpose of our Lord's death was not to redeem us from sins, or for any other reason, but solely in order that the world might become aware of the love which God has for creation. Had all this astounding affair taken place solely for the purpose of the forgiveness of sin, it would have been sufficient to redeem us by some other means.


Participation in God's creation:

Domestic Church

  • A Christ centered home focused in ethos, values, and actions on the teachings and practice of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, with the parents as the ordained ministers of the household

Family Holiness

  • Thus husband and wife, now of one flesh with their children, who as offspring share in this flesh climb the Ladder of Divine Ascent, together, and in union with Christ's Body the Church

Want to find the companion article on the Internet? Click here or go to www.OrthodoxyToday.org and click "Morelli" in the left navigation bar.

Posted: 06-Jul-08

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Copyright 2001-2019 OrthodoxyToday.org. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article is subject to the policy of the individual copyright holder. See OrthodoxyToday.org for details.

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