On our wedding day, we took our first steps as husband and wife and relished our joining together in the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage. We each came to the Altar with our own beliefs about marriage and what married life would hold for us as a couple. The future was bright in our minds, and our love was overflowing. This romantic phase of our life as a couple is common to most of us when we are just starting out. Everything is new, filled with hopes, dreams, and promise. We embrace the ... [Read more]
This category contains 16 article(s).
Love is the only thing that matters and the only thing worth living for. Still, despite our best intentions, many of us tend to miss the mark when we communicate with others—especially those we love most—as negative patterns and destructive relational cycles veer us off course. When that happens, it’s important to keep in mind that the way we approach and respond to each other is paramount to deepening our connections. But old habits die hard, so how might we move in a better ... [Read more]
In his second interview with OCN (Orthodox Christian Network), Fr. Timothy Pavlatos likens the blessings of children to “precious jewels in the crown of marriage” while also explaining the meaning of God's command: “Be fruitful and multiply,” (Genesis: 1:28). The miracle of having children, says Fr. Timothy, is an expression of God’s love for all humanity and an opportunity to be co-creators with Him—something that is beyond comprehension, though not beyond the human experience. Take a ... [Read more]
Q: Stories about people with depression seem to pop up everywhere today: in print media, on the web, and on morning talk shows. Give us a working definition of depression, and tell us how it is different from just having the blues once in a while. Fr. Tom: Life is filled with many challenges and opportunities that create normal emotional ups and downs, sometimes referred to as “having the blues.” But when a person finds herself stuck in the “down” times for a long duration, she may be in the ... [Read more]
A key element in the success of any relationship is the ability to listen. Throughout our many years of marriage, raising a family, and interacting with other couples and families, we have seen a variety of listening styles that impact the ways in which couples and spouses relate to one another. These behaviors stem more from the needs of the listener than those of the speaker. Common listening behaviors Let me fix this: These kinds of listeners believe it is their duty to solve everyone’s ... [Read more]
The Orthodox marriage rite mentions the hope for offspring several times and asks that the couple “be made glad with the sight of sons and daughters.” The marriage rite is even jokingly referred to as the “Orthodox fertility rite.” Case in point: My non-Orthodox friends who attended my wedding some twenty years ago were taken aback by the many references to procreation. But there’s a reason for these references—the Church’s deep love for the human person and the sacredness it places on all ... [Read more]