The writer of Genesis said of Adam and Eve: “And God blessed them‚ and God said to them‚ ‘Be fruitful and multiply‚ and fill the earth and subdue it;’ Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife‚ and they become one flesh” (Genesis 1:28; 2:24). St. Paul wrote in Hebrews: “Let marriage be held in honor among all . . .” (Hebrews 1’:4).
St. John Chrysostom typified the Orthodox Church Fathers: “From the beginning God has been revealed as the fashioner‚ by his providence‚ of this union of man and woman‚ and He has spoken of the two as one: ‘male and female He created them’” (Homily XX on Ephesians 5:2’-3’) http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230120.htm. “Union” in Greek is syzygias‚ a term uniformly used by the Church Father to mean yoked in wedlock and the married state.
In a blessed marriage in the Orthodox Church‚ the couple is ordained as the leaders of their domestic church‚ crowned to be the king and queen of their domicile and granted grace for the “fair education of children” as the Orthodox wedding service proclaims. In Christian marriage‚ authentic and true love seeks to replicate the type of self-sacrifice Christ revealed to us when He became man and dwelt among us (and which is still expressed today in Christ’s faithfulness to His Church). Self-sacrificial love conforms to the Great Commandment to love our neighbor more highly than ourselves. In so doing we also love and honor God (Matthew 25:36-40‚ 1 John 4:19-21). This kind of love between husband and wife‚ even if imperfectly practiced and not always realized‚ constitutes what St. John Chrysostom called the “small church” and as such ensures the health and stability of the family in raising children (Homily XX on Ephesians 5: 2’-3’).
Full article at Orthodoxytoday.org