Church Fathers: Marriage

Clement of Alexandria Stromata Book 2 Ch 23 (150-215 ad)

Marriage is the first conjunction of man and woman for the procreation of legitimate children.


Methodius Banquet of Ten Virgins Discourse 1 ch 3 (300 ad)

And thus, from the time of Abraham, the custom of marrying with sisters has ceased; and from the times of the prophets the contracting of marriage with several wives has been done away with; for we read, “Go not after thy lusts, but refrain thyself front thine appetites;” for “wine and women will make men of understanding to fall away;” and in another place, “Let thy fountain be blessed; and rejoice with the wife of thy youth,” manifestly forbidding a plurality of wives.


Council of Neocaesarea Canon 7 (315 ad)

A presbyter shall not be a guest at the nuptials of persons contracting a second marriage; for, since the digamist is worthy of penance, what kind of a presbyter shall he be, who, by being present at the feast, sanctioned the marriage?


Gregory Nazianzen Letters Divisions III 8 to Nicobulus (325-389 ad)

I should most willingly have given my opinion to my son Verianus that he should pass over much of what is in question, with a view not to confirm the divorce, which is entirely contrary to our law,(a) though the Roman law may determine otherwise.


Jerome Against Jovinianus book 1 par 18 (347-420 ad)

He should know that just as divorce according to the Saviour’s word was not permitted from the beginning, but on account of the hardness of our heart was a concession of Moses to the human race


John Chrysostom Homily 2 on Ephesians ch 1:14(347-407 ad)

Natural desire was bestowed with a view to marriage; it was given with a view to the procreation of children, not with a view to adultery and corruption.


John Chrysostom Homily 13 on Romans (347-407 ad)

For the law of nature ordered one man to associate with one woman throughout. And this Christ shows in the words, “He which made them at the beginning, made them male and female.”


John Cassian Conference 21 ch 9 (360-435 ad)

But if you will not be a helpmeet, but prefer to make yourself a deceiver and an assistance not to me but to the adversary, and fancy that the sacrament of matrimony was granted to you for this reason that you may deprive yourself of this salvation which is offered to you, and also hold me back from following the Saviour as a disciple


John Chrysostom Homily 2 on Titus (347-407 ad)

Ver. 6. “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, hating faithful children, not accused of riot, or unruly.”

Why does he bring forward such an one? To stop the mouths of those heretics, who comdemned marriage, showing that it is not an unholy thing in itself, but so far honorable, that a married man might ascend the holy throne; and at the same reproving the wanton, and not permitting their admission into this high office who contracted a second marriage


Augustine on the Good of Marriage par 21 (354-430 ad)

But since out of many souls there shall be hereafter one City of such as have one soul and one heart towards God; which perfection of our unity shall be hereafter, after this sojourn in a strange land, wherein the thoughts of all shall neither be hidden one from another, nor shall be in any matter opposed one to another; on this account the Sacrament of marriage of our time hath been so reduced to one man and one wife, as that it is not lawful to ordain any as a steward of the Church, save the husband of one wife.


Augustine Sermon 1 par 22 (354-430 ad)

But he who exceeds the limits which this rule prescribes for the fulfilment of this end of marriage, acts contrary to the very contract by which he took his wife. The contract is read, read in the presence of all the attesting witnesses; and an express clause is there that they marry “for the procreation of children;” and this is called the marriage contract. If it was not for this that wives were given and taken to wife, what father could without blushing give up his daughter to the lust of any man But now, that the parents may not blush, and that they may give their daughters in honourable marriage, not to shame, the contract is read out.