Orthodox Christian Marriage in Sweden /w Father Mikael Fälthammar

A conversation on men, women and marriage in Sweden from the perspective of the Orthodox faith with Fr Mikael Fälthammar. Find Fr Mikaels podcast on https://poddtoppen.se/podcast/1494370264/ortodox-kristen-tro and see more about Fr Mikaels parish here: https://kristiuppstandelse.se/kontakt/ and you can also see my previous conversation with Fr Mikael here: https://youtu.be/pMkg9j9sluE

Conversation summary:
Marriage, Feminism, and Masculinity in Sweden
Paul and Fr. had a discussion about marriage and feminism in Sweden, with Paul noting that societal expectations make marriage seem less viable for many Swedish men. Fr. pointed out that the situation varies depending on the individual’s partner. Fr. also emphasized the influence of feminism and secularism in Sweden and expressed hope for a broader range of perspectives in a more globalized world. Fr. advised young men to keep hope and search for a compatible partner, suggesting that finding a partner through the church could be a potential solution. They also discussed the role of masculinity in the Orthodox Church, with Fr. highlighting the act of men confessing their sins as a demonstration of humility and healing. Fr. also suggested that while worship should be the main focus in the church, the wider church community could offer opportunities for connection.

Faith’s Role in Marriage and Parenting
Father and Paul discussed the importance of shared faith in a successful marriage, highlighting how different worldviews can lead to challenges in communication and agreement. Father shared his personal experience as an Orthodox priest, emphasizing the significance of his shared faith with his wife. They also touched on the role of children in testing a relationship and the importance of a shared foundation in faith for raising them.

Orthodox Perspective on Love and Marriage
The discussion revolved around the concept of love and marriage in Christianity, with a focus on the Orthodox perspective. The speakers, a priest and Paul, explored the idea of sanctity in everyday life and the struggle to overcome the ego in relationships. They also touched on the role of humility in marriage and how it serves as a foundation for love. The conversation then shifted to the mainstream societal model of forming relationships, with Paul highlighting its contrast with the Orthodox model. The priest emphasized that people who come to Christ come from various contexts and experiences, and it’s possible to sanctify relationships regardless of how they started.

Marriage and Relationship Commitment Discussed
The discussion focused on the topic of marriage and relationships. The speaker expressed concern over the rising number of broken families and the impact of divorce on society. He emphasized the importance of commitment, clarity, and faith in a relationship, contrasting it with the liberal view of marriage as a contract that can be broken when it no longer serves its purpose. He also pointed out the dangers of rushing into moving in together or having a child without proper commitment and discussed the challenges that come with marriage, including disappointed expectations and the need for trust and commitment. The importance of staying together for the sake of the greater good was also highlighted.

Setting Goals and Fatherhood
Paul discussed the importance of setting goals and creating a clear vision for one’s future. He emphasized the transformative power of understanding the beauty of being united with a woman and the role of fatherhood in personal growth and leadership. The conversation also touched on the misconceptions of love and freedom in relationships and how real freedom is found in committed, responsible relationships. The importance of humility and self-sacrificial love, particularly within the context of family and marriage, was also highlighted. The challenges of parenthood, such as setting boundaries and enforcing obedience for the safety of children, were discussed.

Communication, Relationships, and Self-Sacrifice
Paul and Fr. had a discussion about the importance of effective communication and understanding in relationships, particularly during disagreements. Fr. shared his personal experiences, emphasizing the role of patience and persistence in resolving disagreements and the role of non-verbal communication. They also explored the potential challenges for Western societies and Christianity in embracing their approach, which prioritizes the body and emotions over abstract ideas. Lastly, they delved into the differences between married and unmarried men, with Fr. suggesting that married men often experience a death of their ego due to their commitment to their spouse and potentially their children, and Paul agreed, noting that this self-sacrificial love could also be expressed by unmarried men.

Exploring Service, Sacrifice, and Spiritual Growth
Paul and Fr. Michael explored the topic of service to others as a means for spiritual growth. Fr. Michael discussed the challenges of finding self-sacrificial love in Western culture, emphasizing the role of Christian faith in fostering this value. They also discussed the role of marriage in facilitating sacrificial love and the qualities a man should look for in a wife. They agreed that shared faith is crucial for a successful marriage, with Fr. Michael adding that a vibrant spiritual life in the church and good manners are also important. The discussion revolved around living a manly life in faith and faithfulness to Christ, His Church, and humanity. The speakers emphasized the importance of fostering good manners, living in purity and humility, and leaving behind childish ways.

Marital Issues and Divorce: Church Perspective
Paul and Fr. discussed the complexities of marital issues, particularly in situations involving abuse. Fr. emphasized that such matters are best addressed on a pastoral level, between the individual and their priest, due to their unique circumstances. He highlighted that the church encourages spouses to endure in prayer and view their marriage as a path to spiritual treasure. However, he acknowledged that there are instances when all hope seems lost and the church may consider divorce, but it is not an easy process. The discussion focused on the grounds for ending a marriage, with Fr. highlighting infidelity as a major cause due to its impact on the trust and intimacy in a relationship. The conversation also touched on the importance of repentance or healing from an abusive relationship.

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