Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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There was a young man who was interested in me recently. I felt strongly that the Lord did not wanting us to continue on the path to marriage. My family felt the same. As it came to an end, I began thinking about what marriage is and why it's necessary. I understand the beauty of it and its purpose of sanctification and salvation, but I feel that sanctification can come by our family members and those that are close to us. Being consecrated seems to be a great way to devote all your time and energy to being filled by the Lord and to share the excess with the fellow members of His body.

My father of confession says that the only option for us is marriage. If that really is the case for me, I think I would be doing myself and God a major injustice to marry a man who doesn't have the same passions as I do when it comes to serving His kingdom. Most people say that I should be careful not to set my standards too high. I don't understand how God wouldn't want anything less than that for me, if He does in fact want me to be married.

I do not want to get married because of social reasons. If I meet a man whom I feel is dedicated to being filled by Christ and filling others the same, and wants to be a part of a team to do so even more, then I would see a reason to be married. Otherwise, I honestly don't see why I should marry. Consecration would be a better route, I think?

Consecrating one's life to God is indeed a beautiful decision, but this decision must also have the blessings of your confession father and your parents. These are the people who know you best. Your opinion of marriage is also good, and it is important to keep an open mind regarding these matters. Both paths can lead to God and a fruitful life of service. It is really about which way to serve God that will fill you with peace and achieve His goals in your life. What is your calling in life and which direction will lead to your salvation? If it is a consecrated life, you will begin to live it now, even while you are in your own home. So that the devil does not tempt you, discuss the subject again with your confession father and ask him to give you some guidelines. A consecrated life requires submission and obedience. Even if your confession father does not agree with you, submit and obey joyfully. You will reap the blessing of these virtues. As for marriage, there are many great blessings in this calling. A successful marriage is not something that just happens. God brought Eve to Adam, and if He wills, He will bring you to whom He feels is adequately prepared to have you as a wife. It is a life of a different kind of consecration, service, and sacrifice. While some are called to be lit candles in the sanctuary, such as the monastics and the consecrated brothers and sisters, others are called to be lit candles in the community, such as priests, servants, and lay people. May God choose for you the right path, bless your life, and let your light shine amongst everyone around you.

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