The Orthodox Pages



























Question 240

What is the Church's teaching about choosing a life partner? Does God will who should come into our lives?


Answer to Question 240


When searching for a partner with whom we are to share the rest of our lives together, we should not rely on our own judgment, but should ask God to send us the most suitable person who would best help us fulfil this role. The problem is that today people don’t put their trust in God and go searching for love and romance, for beauty and wealth without knowing what marriage is all about. 


The purpose of marriage is for the couple to help one another and complement one another. The main purpose of human life is the salvation of the soul and couples must encourage one another to live a Christian way of life according to the will of God. Then God's blessing will remain on the married couple; their marriage will be happy and will serve as a comfort and joy to them.


Towards the end of the marriage service, the newlyweds embark on their life’s journey. The Priest takes the bridal pair by the hands and leads them around the table three times. The new husband and wife are taking their first steps together led by the Church, which is represented by the Priest. Each circle around the table is accompanied by a hymn. This is called the ceremonial walk or more commonly “Isaiah’s Dance”. This is taken from the first hymn “O Isaiah rejoice” which exclaims the good news of the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah through the birth of Christ. The circle symbolizes perfection and the circular walk eternity.


 Thus the Church leads the newly-weds toward eternal life and perfection. They are asked always to walk with Christ and have him at the centre of their lives. They are asked to make Christ the pillar of strength and centre of their family. Only in this way will they be able to stand firmly in the storm of life and attain the goal of theosis. Thus the Ceremonial walk is the couple’s commitment always to be led by Christ, and to have His teaching, proclaimed in the Gospels lying there on the table, at the centre of their lives. As they complete each circle they kiss the Book of the Gospels showing again their belief that Christ is in their midst and will be with them throughout their life together. 


I would therefore say that if the couple live their lives with Christ always in their midst as their strength and guiding force, they will have a marriage blessed by heaven and will live happily and contented.