3 Questions and Answers with an Orthodox Priest: Can one marry a divorced person...

Q: Fr. Andrew, could you give me some advice? I have registered on a dating site (an Orthodox one, as it was stated there). A year has passed since that time. Could it be possible that it is a wrong place to meet in my case?

A: Everyone chooses a place to meet on his own. Some people seek a meeting in certain life situations, while others can do this on special sites. If you want to meet a person to love them and create a family, then it may be it is possible do use such a site as well. You see, there is no result yet. It seems to me that a real meeting is more reliable than a virtual one. You have an opportunity to see a person as he or she is, but not in terms of a network. You can hear a person and feel what they are thinking.

Many beautiful young women and men come to church. I think if you are a faithful person, then you do not need any dating site. You just need to pray that one of them will notice you and that your heart feels the beauty of the other person. Those of us who ask and those who knock will get what they are asking for.

Q: Can one marry a divorced person?

A: We cannot speak about such things in general terms. We need to consider each case separately. Look, a person is left alone, they are lonely now and it is difficult for him or her to live alone. For example, a woman is left alone with her children. Of course, she needs support, she wants to find a husband. If she manages to find such a person, and they love each other and fight for their unity, then it is a God’s blessing. I think we should not state something categorically if we speak about our spiritual life.

The Church teaches that we should be loyal to each other, that we should fight for God’s blessing which He gives for creating a family, that we should learn how to bear the burdens of each other. We should be patient and humble – this is the school of humility. It is tragic, when it does not work out and a family falls apart, especially if this family has received God’s blessing in the Sacrament of Marriage. How can we fix this? How to keep living? Perhaps, there can be different circumstances and options, but need to remember that we should seek God’s will.

Q: Is it true that if my husband becomes a priest he will have little time for family?
A: After all, a Matushka has to help his husband in his service. You will lose nothing if you devote all your energy to serving God. The whole life is a fight. Of course, one can have a lot of free time and just waste it. One can sit at home all the time and quarrel, sorting things out and trying to find out who loves whom. On the other hand, you can join this fight and help your future husband in his serving God Himself, in serving other people. This will enrich your life with real problems and will help you to see the depth and the beauty of your neighbor.

So be not afraid. If you love this person, if he is precious to you and you cannot imagine your life without him, will you really think about how much time he will spend at home and how he will spent it with you? You must desire to be with him! Even if he is not at home, you should support him with your prayers in his difficult pastoral service. 

St. Elisabeth Convent 
September 21, 2017



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