Saturday, August 1, 2009

John Chrysostom: Pre-Marital Fornication Leads to Adultery

What happens these days, at any rate, is not marriage but business dealings and partying: when the young are corrupted even before marriage, and after marriage still have eyes for another woman, what good is marriage, tell me? So the punishment is greater, the sin unpardonable, when despite his wife living with him he is unfaithful to her and commits adultery. I mean, after marriage, even if the one who corrupts the married man is a prostitute, it is a case of adultery. Now, this happens, and they betake themselves to women who are whores, because they did not practice self-control before marriage. This is the source of fights, abuse, broken homes and daily squabbles; this is the source of the love for one's wife waning and dying, since association with the prostitutes puts an end to it. But if he learns to practice self-control, he will consider his wife more desirable than anyone, will look upon her with great favor, maintain harmony with her, and where there is peace and harmony, all good things will come to that house.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Homilies on Hannah, Homily 1, in St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume 1, p. 81 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.