Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra (1971), “Marriage: The Great Sacrament,” a sermon delivered in the Church of St. Nicholas, Trikala, Greece.
In this sermon, Elder Aimilianos considers “some of the conditions necessary for a happy, truly Christian marriage,” beginning with childhood and healthy parenting. He then goes on to explore marriage as a “journey of pain, a journey of love, and a journey to heaven,” and expounds upon each of these elements.
or in the book: The Church at Prayer: The Mystical Liturgy of the Heartby Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra (Ormylia, Greece: The Holy Convent of the Annunciation, 2005), pp. 111-125.
Behr, Fr. John, “Marriage and Asceticism.”
In this article on marriage, Fr. John Behr describes the historical shift in marriage from the pre-modern to the modern era and then explores the ascetical dimension of marriage beginning with the Old Testament, then on to the New Testament, and select writings of fathers of the Church, particularly St. Ireneaus, and St. Gregory of Nyssa.
Stylianopoulos, Theodore. “Toward a Theology of Marriage in the Orthodox Church,” Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Volume XXII, No. 3.
For Parish or Personal: Selected Marriage Resources PDF
Here you will find a selected marriage resource list for your own personal use or to pass on to your parishioners. Each resource has been read and reviewed. The books and articles come from a variety of perspectives and approaches. Selected Marriage Resources
Firestone, Lisa, “How Mindfulness Can Save Your Relationship.” This brief article, though cloaked in the modern language of “mindfulness” and “meditation” and without mention of God, reveals some important truths about relationships, particularly with our spouse.
Regnerus, Mark, “The Good Enough Marriage,” explores how we determine the ways in which we view our marriages and challenges the reader to consider the realities of married life and the consequences of divorce.
Edmundson, Ron, “Introverted Pastors: Be Extroverted on Sunday.” This article explores the very real but often overlooked challenge that pastors and their wives experience on a regular basis—being an introvert in a vocation that sometimes requires you exercise behaviors more akin to an extrovert. Though addressing the pastor, the same principles can be applied to the wife, though to a lesser degree. If either you or your spouse is an introvert, this article will provide you with some practical suggestions for appropriate self-care.
Lanberg, Diane, “Is Marriage in Conflict With Your Ministry?” In this excerpt from the book, Counsel for Pastors’ Wives, the author addresses the challenge of viewing marriage and ministry as competing with one another or as complimentary. This is a good article for spouses to read together and discuss. It begs the question: In what ways do each of us experience ministry and marriage to be complimentary and in competition?
Phillips, Michael, “What I Can and Can’t Discuss at Home.” This article, “What I Can and Can’t Discuss at Home,” by Michael E. Phillips, addresses some of the matters clergy couples can consider in the ongoing challenge of what the husband and wife share with one another, particularly what the husband shares with the wife about the parish. The article is written from a Protestant perspective; thus, it does not account for priestly and confessional confidentiality. However, it does provide some insight that may be helpful and informative.
Bettis, Kara, “The 4 Great Challenges of Christian Counseling,” is an outstanding article that will resonate deeply with both priests and presvyteres who walk beside suffering members of their parish communities. It offers keen insights into the challenges as well as buffers for navigating them.
Briggs, J., “Why Half of all Pastors Want to Quit their Jobs.” This brief article explores some of the common “myths” pastors tend to believe and counters with the reality that pastors are also patients in the hospital with need of healing.
Kielsmeier-Jones, Abram, “Sabbath-Keeping for Pastors.” In this article the author presents some compelling biblical, research-based and anecdotal evidence for “sabbath-keeping.”
Koons, Zac, “Priests Are Not Paid to Do Anything,” This article, written by a young Episcopal priest, distinguishes between a stipend and a salary and the ramifications thereof for priestly ministry. The article provides food for thought and reflection. Here is a brief excerpt: “Some weeks I feel like I have limitless flexibility with astoundingly little to do. I can write a sermon at the dog park. I can run home for lunch. And I never wait in line at the barber. But then there are others that feel like I’ve been thrown into a marathon I never had a chance to train for. Emails get missed, hospital visits get rushed, and we eat one or two too many takeout dinners at home. In a strange way, I can see both how easy it would be to become lazy in this job, and simultaneously how easy it would be to become a workaholic.”
Peterson, Eugene, “The Unbusy Pastor,” [and Presvytera, my addition]. In this thought-provoking article, the author makes a convincing argument against the “idol” of busyness in ministry. The author, Eugene Peterson, is a Presbyterian minister who has authored many books.
Ruffing, Elizabeth G., Paine, David R., Devor, Nancy G., Sandage, Steven J., “Humility and Narcissism in Clergy: a Relational Spirituality Framework” In this thought-provoking research article, “Humility and Narcissism in Clergy: a Relation Spirituality Framework,” In this thought-provoking research article, “Humility and Narcissism in Clergy: a Relation Spirituality Framework,” the authors explore the role of the virtue of humility and the destructive nature and presence of narcissism in ministry. Though dense in spots, it is important reading for both priests and clergy wives, as it provides insights we sometimes want to avoid.
Floyd, Ronnie, “A Pastor and His Wife.” This is a brief article written by a Baptist minister, which explores three main points for being a clergy couple: being partners, living life together and being consistent. It provides some good discussion points for clergy couples.
Litton, Kathy Ferguson, “Seven Inescapable Choices Pastors Wives Face.” This is an excellent article that puts into perspective the reality that we are not victims of our circumstances. Rather, we choose, with God’s grace, the outlook and perspective of our lives.
McDaniel, Lori, “The Best Pastor’s Wife Advice I Ever Received.” This is a brief article written by the wife of a minister. In this article, she writes, “Sometimes you need to be like rubber and sometimes you need to be a sponge.” She then goes on to briefly elaborate this principle, which she has come to deeply appreciate.
McKeever, Joe, “What My Wife Would Tell Pastors’ Wives.” This is a precious article written by a pastor a few days before his wife’s funeral. Though not from an Orthodox perspective, it contains many truths that we will all appreciate. Some of the points are great for discussion with our husbands.
McKeever, Joe, “The Most Vulnerable Woman In Your Church.” Written by an observant layman. This article focuses on various factors that lead him to conclude that the pastor’s wife is the most vulnerable woman in the church community. Further, he then lists what the lay people “owe” the pastor’s wife.
Oden, Marilyn Brown, “Stress and Purpose: Clergy Spouses Today.” This article, which appeared in The Christian Century, is written by the wife of a Methodist minister. It provides insights on the primary challenges clergy wives encounter.
Peterson, Eugene, “The Unbusy Pastor” [and Presvytera, my addition]. In this thought-provoking article, the author makes a convincing argument against the “idol” of busyness in ministry. The author, Eugene Peterson, is a Presbyterian minister who has authored many books.
VanDeKuyt, Miranda, “Burnout Prevention: Tips for Pastors’ Wives.” In this brief but important article, the author presents the basics of “burnout” and provides strategies and resources for navigating times of burnout in our lives. Though written for pastors’ wives, the same principles can be applied to our husbands, and the information provided in the article can help us, as the wives of priests, to be on the lookout for signs of burnout in both ourselves and our husbands.
Schaefer, Rev. Frank, “Self Care Tips for the Clergy Family,” written by a Protestant minister, succinctly describes some of the realities of clergy family life in America and some pointers for managing the common stressors of clergy families. It is worth the read.