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Monasticism and marriage: Two roads to the same destination?

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#1 Bill Schwan

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:52 AM

Hi, I'm a Sunday School director who is working on a curriculum for a couples study loosely based on Gary Thomas' Sacred Marriage in which he asks the question "What if God intended marriage to make us holy rather than to make us happy?" and then goes on to make several well-buttressed arguments to support that notion. The idea is that a lot of the work required to grow us into the image of Christ is uniquely designed to be accomplished in the marriage setting. Example: we see our sin very plainly as we relate to the one person we care the most for in life and at times treat them poorly, get angry with them, behave in a way a spouse should not behave towards their mate. Then we learn the art of reconciliation as we deal with our own flaws as exposed through dealing with our spouse. We learn to forgive, recognize when we need forgiveness and how to humbly ask for it. For some reason I'm thinking that similar growth occurs in the monastic practice and would like to draw parallels between marriage and monasticism in the sense that they are two roads leading to the same place in this study/ Do any of the monastic sorts who frequent this forum concur with this assessment and if so, in what ways does living in community with others of like mind cause the sort of growth toward holiness that married life schools a couple on?

#2 David Puline

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:42 AM

Hello...perhaps I am coming from another direction. I have been trying to study the Song of Songs from this perspective I have come across 2 things of interest. One an audio:

Along with a recomended book: Solomon on Sex by Joseph Dillow. This I have reserved on Amazon. I can´t answer the part on monasticism but it comes down to the point of one´s devotion to follow God´s path.


#3 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:12 PM

Bill, you might want to check out the Orthodox Wiki on marriage in the Orthodox Church: Marriage

A detailed account of monasticism in Orthodoxy can be found here: Monasticism in the Orthodox Church

There is also good information in this thread: New monasticism in the Orthodox Church

But yes, absolutely, monasticism and marriage are two paths towards salvation. I find it amazing that any Christian group would not realize this.

Herman the amazed Pooh

#4 Theodosia


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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:40 AM

Read The Sacrament of Love by Paul Evdokimov....it has an excellent discussion of this topic.

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