It becomes men and women too, when they marry, to unite themselves with the consent of the bishop, that the marriage may be after the Lord and not after concupiscence. Let all things be done to the honor of God. Ignatius: to Polycarp (A.D. 35-105) ch.5

“If a wife, Sir,” say I, “or, it may be, a husband fall asleep, and one of them marry, does the one that marries sin?” “He sins not,” said he, “but if he remain single, he invests himself with more exceeding honor and with great glory before the Lord; yet even if he should marry, he sins not. Preserve purity and holiness therefore, and you shall live unto God.” Hermas (A.D. 150) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg. 22

Therefore, having the hope of eternal life, we despise the things of this life, even to the pleasures of the soul, each of us reckoning her his wife whom he has married according to the laws laid down by us, and that only for the purpose of having children. For as the husbandman throwing the seed into the ground awaits the harvest, not sowing more upon it, so to us the procreation of children is the measure of our indulgence in appetite. Athenagorus (A.D. 137) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.146

And they say that by the words “it is better to marry than to burn” the apostle means this: “Do not cast your soul into the fire, so that you have to endure night and day and go in fear lest you should fall from continence. For a soul which has to concentrate upon endurance has lost hope.” In his Ethics, Isidore says in these very words: “Abstain, then, from a quarrelsome woman lest you are distracted from the grace of God. But when you have rejected the fire of the seed, then pray with an undisturbed conscience. And when your prayer of thanksgiving,” he says, “descends to a prayer of request, and your request is not that in future you may do right, but that you may do no wrong, then marry. But perhaps a man is too young or poor or suffers from weak health, and has not the will to marry as the apostle’s saying suggests. Such a man should not separate himself from his brother Christian. He should say, I have come into the sanctuary, I can suffer nothing. And if he has a presentiment that he may fall, he may say, Brother, lay your hand on me lest I sin, and he will receive help both spiritually and physically. Let him only wish to accomplish what is right and he will achieve his object. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Miscellanies, book III ch.1

Our view is that we welcome as blessed the state of abstinence from marriage in those to whom this has been granted by God. We admire monogamy and the high standing of single marriage, holding that we ought to share suffering with another and “bear one another’s burdens,” lest anyone who thinks he stands securely should himself fall. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Miscellanies, book III ch. 1

For we are children not of desire but of will. A man who marries for the sake of begetting children must practice continence so that it is not desire he feels for his wife, whom he ought to love, and that he may beget children with a chaste and controlled will. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Miscellanies, book III ch.7

If by agreement marriage relations are suspended for a time to give opportunity for prayer, this teaches continence. He adds the words “by agreement” lest anyone should dissolve his marriage, and the words “for a time” lest a married man, brought to continence by force, should then fall into sin; for if he spares his own wife he may fall into desire for another woman. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Miscellanies, book III ch. 12

And again when the apostle says, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman; but because of the risk of immorality let man have his own wife,” he explains it, as it were, by the further words “lest Satan tempt you.” In the phrase “because of continence” he speaks not to those who chastely use marriage for procreation alone, but to those who were desiring to beyond procreation, lest the adversary should raise a storm and arouse desire for alien pleasures. But perhaps because Satan is zealously hostile to those who live rightly and contends against them, and wishes to bring them over to his own side, he aims to give them occasions for falling by making it difficult for to be continent. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Miscellanies, book III ch. 15

And for the married he goes on to say, “My elect shall not labor in vain nor bear children to be accursed; for they are a seed blessed by the Lord.” For him who begets children and brings them up and educates them in the Lord, just as for him who begets children by means of the true teaching, a reward is laid up, as also for the elect seed. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Miscellanies, book III ch.15

Assuredly also, when (the apostle) rules that marriage should be “only in the Lord,” that no Christian should intermarry with a heathen, he maintains a law of the Creator, who everywhere prohibits marriage with strangers. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg.443-444

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