If you’re married, says St. John Chrysostom, that doesn’t mean you can’t be chaste. The laws of chastity apply to you just as much as they do to the monks in the desert.
“Well, what do you want us to do?” someone says. “Do you want us to go live on the mountains and turn into monks?”
This is what makes me sad, that you think only monks are concerned with decency and chastity—and yet certainly Christ made his laws common to all.
Thus when he says, “If anyone looks at a woman lustfully,” he speaks not just to the hermit, but also to the man who has a wife.
So don’t say I speak too severely. I neither forbid you to marry nor hinder you from taking pleasure. But I would have you do it in chastity, not with shame and reproach and endless accusations. I do not make it a law that you should go live in the mountains and the deserts, but that you should be good and considerate and chaste, living in the middle of the city.
–St. John Chrysostom, Homily 7 on Matthew, 8IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Am I living up to Christ’s standard in my family life?
Lord, I pray for strength for all those who live either in celibacy and discipline or in holy matrimony.
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