Since "the human heart does not find peace until it finds and does not realize ...
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The Apostle Paul writes:

“But in order to avoid fornication, each have his own wife, and each have his own husband;

A wife has no power over her body, but a husband; neither is the husband power over his body, but the wife;

Do not shy away from each other, unless by agreement, for a while, to exercise in fasting and prayer, and then again be together, so that Satan does not tempt you with your lack of restraint (1 Cor. 2, 4, 5).



Svt. John Chrysostom says that in the marital intimacy abstinence should be in moderation and only by mutual agreement:

“The one who refrains against the will of her husband will not only lose the reward for abstinence, but will also give an answer for his adultery, and a more rigorous answer than himself. Why? Because she, depriving him of legal copulation, throws him into the abyss of debauchery. If she does not have the right to do this for a short time without his consent, then what kind of forgiveness can she receive by permanently depriving him of this consolation? ”(1: 337);

“In view ofthat many abstain and have pure and chaste wives, moreover abstain beyond their due, so that abstinence is made a pretext for adultery, in view of which <the apostle Paul> says: "let them each use his wife" ... and he does not use you? Then he leaves home and sins, and in the end his sin has its own abstinence. Let him sleep better with you than with a harlot. Living with you is not prohibited, and living with a harlot is prohibited. If he sleeps with you, there is no guilt; if with a harlot, then you have ruined your own body ... In order for you (wife) and have a husband, for that (you) (husband) and you have a wife to observe chastity. Do you want to have temperance? Convince your husband that there should be two crowns - chastity and harmony, but that there is no chastity and battle, so that there is no peace and war. After all, if you abstain, and the husband is inflamed with passion, and yet adultery is forbidden by the Apostle, which means that he must endure a storm and anxiety. But “do not deprive yourself of one another, just tochia by consent” (1 Cor. 7, 5).

And, of course, where the world is ... there and temperance is crowned; and where war is, chastity is undermined.So, fight (in temperance) as much as you want; when you are weak, use marriage (marriage) so that Satan does not tempt you. “Each have your wife” ... So, observe the measure of your abstinence, depending on how much you can curb the weakness of your flesh. Do not strive to exceed this measure in order not to fall below every measure ”(2: 647).



Svt. Tikhon Zadonsky also believes that it is only necessary to refrain from each other in the family with the general consent of:


“There is a custom to leave behind certain husbands of their wives, and leave their husbands under the guise of abstinence, but this is a very dangerous thing, because instead of abstinence, there can be a serious sinful adultery, either in one or in both. When the husband leaves his wife, and the wife with another will sin, then the husband will also be guilty of sin, supposedly gave the reason for his wife to sin; Also, the wife, when she leaves her husband, and the husband will sin, the wife is guilty of the cause for the reason described above. For the sake of, when separation is for the sake of abstinence, it must be with the consent of both persons, and at that time, as long as they force themselves, they can bear this burden. When they can, well: yes, they are tacos. When they can not, yes packs converge into one; not everything is given to all bo ”(cit.on 3 with reference to «Creations svt. Tikhon. 6th ed. 1899 T. 5, p. 174 ")


A similar opinion is shared by the elder Paisius the Holy Trinity:“You have to keep in mind that the problem of marital relations is not only your problem and that you have no right to regulate them alone; you can do this only by mutual agreement, as the apostle Paul commands (see: 1 Cor. 7, 5). When this happens by mutual agreement, prayer is again required. And the strong must enter into the position of the weak. It often happens that one half agrees to refrain so as not to upset the other, but suffers internally. This most often happens with wives who have little fear of God and moving flesh. Sometimes some pious husbands, hearing their words of consent from their wives, out of prudence prolong the period of abstinence, and then wives suffer: they become nervous and so on. Husbands believe that their wives are entrenched in virtues, and they want to live more cleanly, entering into relationships through longer periods, and from this the wives go into temptation and try to get together with someone. And when a fall happens, they are tormented by remorse. However, husbands still try to live cleaner, although they seethat the wives are not located. Thus, husbands believe that wives have achieved spiritual success and do not want physical. But the physical cause is sometimes unavoidable, and feminine egoism has justification, as does the jealousy experienced by the weaker. The wife, seeing that the husband wants to live a spiritual life, makes efforts on himself, wanting to get ahead of him ”(4. Ch. 1“ On spouses ”).


M. Grigorevsky in his book dedicated to the teachings of St.. John Chrysostom of marriage, writes that neither spouse should independently evade physical intimacy:“United by matrimonial bonds, the husband and the wife do not have the right to refuse the fulfillment of the requirements that lie in the concept of marriage and its purpose. Explaining the words of St. Apostle: “husband gives his wife due pity: similarly to wife to husband” (1 Cor. 7: 3), Chrysostom asks what proper love means? - A wife does not have power over her body, but there is also a slave and madam of her husband. If you if you deviate from proper service, you insult God (Conversation 19 on 1 Cor., p. 324). Therefore, it is said: “Do not turn away from each other, unless by agreement” (1 Cor. 7: 5). As a wife within the meaning of these apostolic words, should not refrain against the will of her husband,so is the husband against the will of his wife, since from such abstinence there is great evil; there would be adultery, fornication, and domestic disorders, even if one of the spouses abstained for moral reasons, out of a desire, for example, to achieve greater purity by abstaining from carnal coexistence, his abstention would not matter. A side that does not want to refrain, experience proves, if it does not indulge in adultery, it will be sorrowful, anxious, annoyed and angry. “What is the use of fasting and abstinence when love is broken” ”(5: 145, 146).


In addition, one of the main goals of marriage, according to the patristic doctrine, is to satisfy the natural (sexual) instinct, or "curbing carnal passion", or "taming the ardent nature." In this case, the satisfaction of the natural instinct is, according to svt. John Chrysostom, greater importance (greater importance) in marriage than childbearing

Thus, based on the above, it can be concluded thatno spouse should shy away from marital intimacy without reason. This can be done only by mutual consent (see more on this in 6).



1.The works of our holy father John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople in 12 tons, that is. 1. Book 1 (a book about virginity): In Rus. per. SPb .: Ed. St. Petersburg Theological Academy, 1895.

2. Creations of our holy father John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, 2nd ed. V. 5. Book 2: In Rus. per. SPb .: Ed. St. Petersburg Theological Academy, 1899.

3. John (Maslov), sciarchimandrite. Symphony in the works of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk. - M .: Box-izdat, 2003.

4. Elder Paist Svyatogorsky. About the Christian family. - M .: "Blagovest", 2000.

5. The teaching of St. John Chrysostom on marriage. - Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra: 2000. Reprint edition on: “Grigorevsky M. Doctrine of sv. John Chrysostom marriage. Arkhangelsk. Tipo-Lit. no D. Goryainova, 1902.

6. Dobroselsky P.V. Marital relations and the face of sin (marriage, family, marital intimacy) - 2nd (3rd – ed) ed. and add. - M .: Oranta, 2012 (2013). - 464 s. - (Christian anthropology and modernity. Issue 1).

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