The meaning of Christ’s fervent prayer shortly before the Crucifixion was exactly this: He prayed to the point of bloody sweat for our unity! You can say that He meant “unity of faith” by that! Yes, of course, he also meant faith. But should not there be unity in the house? Unity of parents and children. Unity of a couple. Unity of brothers. Parents, relatives, everyone. Otherwise, what does a phrase “we believe” mean? How can the transformative power of our faith be proved? How can you say that you are touching God if you are inhuman in the first place? How can you say that you love Christ if you are indifferent to your neighbor and allow them to irritate you in every way and keep them at a distance from you with such coldness?
Think about what you are doing: you are keeping your distance from your loved one, of course, in the name of God! And you will never admit to it and say, “This is my problem, because I feel guilty here, because I’m hiding something behind this behavior”. This behavior conceals erroneous theology. And erroneous anthropology. And incorrect cosmology. In general, the problem is in your head. You have a lot of knowledge, but a great part of it is wrong. This is information from parents, relatives, friends. Sometimes even from priests or mentors. I do not know exactly, who you get your knowledge from in your life.
I do not know who taught you about God, about people, about the world. However, oftentimes our knowledge is not truly Orthodox and correct. For when a person refuses to enjoy love, believing that what is asked from them is immoral, sinful, that it is worldly and worthless, that it does not correspond to their spirituality, then we are talking about incorrect theology. Such theology devalues the gift that God Himself has given to a person! This gift is intended to unite people, to improve and to comfort a person. For without love, including erotic love, a person is inconsolable. They get tired in this world. And you get tired, it is true, because you work until you get tired, get sick, and also have psychological problems.
If now, tired as you are, you do not live with all the gifts that God has bestowed on your family, how will you be able to remain standing? If you do not live in unity, including marital unity (psychologically and physically), then how will you rest? How will you console yourself? How will you refresh yourself? Yet you are cold. Both of you are cold… Of course, you can use beautiful and spiritual excuses as an argument to hide your coldness, for example, you can say that it is a fast day, that it is time of Lent, that it is a day of preparation, and resort to many other beautiful excuses.
From the book «On Certain Difficulties in Marriage” by Father Andrew (Konanos)
Translated by Julia Frolova