Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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What are the most important factors for maintaining a successful, spiritual, satisfying married life?

Marriage is a sacrament in which "The two shall become one flesh" (Eph 5:31). It is a union between three: God, the bride and groom. Love is the key element in this relationship. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Eph 5:25). This is part of the Pauline Epistle read in the Crowning Ceremony during which each of the bride and groom is given a set of instructions, if they do follow them they will have a blessed marriage in the Lord. We read also "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Eph 5:32-33).  

The priest also reads 'So you should know each other's rights and submit yourselves to one another, and let each of you be faithful to the other according to our teacher Paul the apostle: "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does" (1 Cor 7:4).

The priest also reads the command to the bridegroom "...Receive your wife at this blessed hour with a clear conscience, a pure soul and a full heart. Excel in doing all that is good for her. Have compassion on her and hasten to do that which will gladden her heart...

The priest reads the command for the bride "...Honour and respect him, do not disagree with him but increase your obedience to him many times over what was commanded..."

All these commandments are easy to follow if the Lord lives in your home. It is very important that you pray together at least once a day and dedicate some time to reading at least one chapter of the Holy Bible together daily. It is the presence of the Lord among you that will make you grow spiritually together, bless your life and grant you a successful and satisfying marriage.
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