Marriage Is For Losers

You can be right, or you can be married; take your pick. I can’t remember who told me that, but I do remember that they were only half-joking. The other half, is exceedingly important. This is why.

Dr. Kelly Flanagan

This is a wonderful article on the blog, Untangled. I recommend it to all – especially if you’re married.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.



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15 responses to “Marriage Is For Losers”

  1. Gregory Ned Blevins Avatar

    Q: Why is marriage a sacrament/mystery?

    A: Because it is impossible to completely nail oneself to the cross without help.

  2. Selena Avatar
    Selena

    Thank you Father, that was fabulous. Is the author Orthodox?

  3. fatherstephen Avatar

    Selena,
    I do not know. I doubt it. But the article was an excellent example of the theology of the cross.

  4. dinoship Avatar
    dinoship

    That’s a good one Gregory!
    here’s another one I have heard:
    Q: Why is marriage a sacrament/mystery?

    A: Because through the Church’s blessing it becomes permanent defying the law of this world that nothing is permanent

  5. Fr. David Wooten Avatar

    My priest told my wife and me this during our premarital counseling. It’s served us well.

  6. sergieyes Avatar
    sergieyes

    Ephesians 5:25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    Ephesians 5:2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.;
    Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.;
    Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.;
    Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.;
    1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

  7. Karen Avatar
    Karen

    Thanks for that great link! Good timing. My husband and I just celebrated our 17th anniversary (yesterday). My parents just passed their 55th and my in-laws just passed their 60th! This is a reminder of how blessed we really are. With so few completely intact families these days, having such an example in both sets of grandparents really shows in the wonderful sense of security we see in our children. Just to be able to see that makes every bit of “losing” worth it and then some! (Still, I know I need to try to lose more often.)

    This also reminded me of a Red Skelton quote I found on a plaque in Gatlinburg last summer and gave to my dad (who’s a big Red Skelton fan). It reads:

    “All men make mistakes. Married men just find out about them sooner.”

    Working at this business of losing, keeping your sense of humor is helpful. 🙂

  8. OldToad Avatar
    OldToad

    It reminds me of a comment I read some time ago: Marriage is an opportunity to love at least one person the way God loves everybody.

  9. coffeezombie Avatar
    coffeezombie

    The one sentence that really stuck out to me was, “It is knowing that your spouse will never fully understand you, will never truly love you unconditionally—because they are a broken creature, too—and loving them to the end anyway.”

    It’s funny that you posted this now, since my wife and I have been talking about our marriage recently (things do tend to get neglected with a toddler and a 9-month-old running around), and I was reminded of the re-post you put up lately about the ecclesiology of the cross. I thought then that the exact same thoughts you gave about ecclesiology apply to marriage (fitting, I suppose, since the family is a “little Church”): “Either the [husband and wife] love and forgive each other or the whole thing falls apart.”

  10. fatherstephen Avatar

    Coffeezombie,
    The connection is very strong in my mind as well. It’s my wife who showed me the article on marriage. I liked it and reposted it. It was my way of saying, “Thank you!”

  11. ilfuoconecessario Avatar
    ilfuoconecessario

    Marriage reminds the last foot washing. One can’t know if is love or humility. Marriage is the greatest form of humility.

  12. tess Avatar
    tess

    I’m stuck on the thought that over half of marriages that have ended in divorce have *properly* ended in divorce due to being destructive or abusive. Are most marriages truly that destructive to children? Is that even a Christian argument for divorce? When does being at the bottom of the inverted pyramid stop being Christ-like and start being abused?

    For an Orthodox Christian, how bad must a marriage be *for the children* in order to divorce for the children’s sake? Does trying to serve in humility actually become something destructive?

    Can something so terrible (divorce) really be a good solution for so many people?

  13. Micah Avatar
    Micah

    If I may Tess: it is not very profitable to consider such things. While the Orthodox consider marriage to be indissolubile except in cases of adultery (Matt 19:19) or where the economia of salvation may be expected to override “what God has joined together”, Roman Catholics do not even admit to it’s existence.

    It is the divine person of God who alone can unite what man has divided. He does it within himself (in the eschaton).

  14. sergieyes Avatar
    sergieyes

    I was born in America and taken to Occupy Germany when a mere infant. My parents hired a German lady who later was revealed as a Nazi, with all that implies. The Nazi raised me,my sister and brother. So I was under the auspices of the spirit of death. “It is the divine person of God who alone can unite what man has divided. He does it within himself (in the eschaton).”
    God does protect. I have an Orthodox Spiritual Father and I have been blessed despite immersion in Nazi death spirits. God and the Orthodox Church are bigger than death.

  15. John - Romania Avatar

    “It’s doing what is right and good for your spouse, even when big things need to be sacrificed, like a job, or a relationship, or an ego.”

    Great thought… God knows I have often been very sad (to say the least) because I had to lose some things so that I could stay by my girlfriend’s side (we are planning to marry, and to be like Christ wants us to be). I feel I have become a loser in the eyes of this world. But sometimes God makes a move: I manage to remind myself of how miserable I felt when I was alone and a “winner”. And now it seems that I’ve got love but I’m being convinced slowly, without mercy, by this world, to become miserable. Because I am and always will be a loser. Because my girlfriend is a loser. Losers don’t get rewards from this world.

    I’m most afraid of the following fact: this world, most of the time, has no mercy for losers. It couldn’t have: losers simply don’t exist. It makes me very sad to think that I might not be able to support my future family, because I have a problem with ruining my life and others’ lives just to get a cursed job (things are rough in my country in the present, as they are probably also in the U.S. and in most countries; young people can hardly find a job or a home of their own). But God is great in His love, so I hope it will all turn out well.

    May God bless you all.

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